Alexandria Robins, Assistant Policy Advisor at Global Witness, today said:
“Today marks an important reminder that Congress has yet to take concrete steps towards curbing the widespread abuse of anonymous shell companies. Last July, while testifying before the House Financial Services Committee, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin urged Congress to pass company ownership transparency legislation. Speaking to the Committee, Mnuchin said: ‘We’ve got to figure out this beneficial ownership [issue] in the next six months…’
Six months have now passed. Although the previous Congress introduced several bipartisan bills seeking to strengthen U.S. anti-money laundering laws to counter terrorism and illicit finance by curbing anonymously owned companies, efforts stalled before meeting the six-month deadline.
The good news is that, despite the shutdown battle that the government is mired in, Congress is moving ahead with legislation that would help clean up corruption by getting rid of anonymously owned companies often used in financial crime.
With the new Congress now in place, this anniversary of Secretary Mnuchin’s statement should be an ardent reminder to legislators that the world is looking at the U.S. to lead the fight for transparency. Global Witness continues to be at the forefront of this issue and applauds Congressional leaders, including Chairwoman Maxine Waters, who are already taking steps to move legislation early and in a bipartisan fashion.”
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