UK’s Cameron wants ‘global standard’ on energy payments disclosure
Ben Geman - 05/13/13 11:19 AM ET
British Prime Minister David Cameron wants a global standard under which petroleum and mining companies will report their payments to governments, calling it a way to curb corruption in resource-rich nations.
Cameron, who is meeting with President Obama at the White House on Monday, called for the Group of Eight leading industrial nations to work on the effort at its June gathering in Ireland.
The prime minister, in a broader Wall Street Journal column backing free trade, said greater “transparency” must accompany more open global markets.
“[W]e must lift the veil of secrecy that too often lets corrupt corporations and officials in some countries run rings around the law. The G8 must move toward a global common standard for resource-extracting companies to report all payments to governments, and in turn for governments to report those revenues,” Cameron writes.
“This will encourage more investment in resource-rich countries and level the playing field for business,” he writes.
The column arrives as European officials are completing standards that will require oil-and-gas, mining and logging companies to report payments to foreign governments.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has already finalized a U.S. version of the rules that apply to SEC-listed oil-and-gas and mining companies, but they remain under legal challenge by oil industry and business groups.
The SEC has also completed separate rules to force manufacturers to disclose whether they rely on minerals – tantalum, tin, gold and tungsten – from war-stricken parts of Africa. But those are also under court review.
“We ... need to make sure that mineral wealth in developing countries becomes a blessing, not a curse. It is to the shame of the whole world that a lack of transparency allowed the illicit diamond trade to