Washington, D.C. — The Trump administration has made an about-face on promoting transparent and accountable governance and combatting global corruption. In an issue brief released today, the Center for American Progress Action Fund examines how the Trump administration and congressional Republicans are putting private interests ahead of human rights and U.S. national security.
“Corruption is one of the most complex and daunting challenges facing global governance,” said Trevor Sutton, Fellow at CAP Action and author of the brief. “It enables a host of serious threats to U.S. national security, such as transnational crime, state failure, and civil unrest, and also facilitates environmental degradation and serious human rights abuses. President Donald Trump’s disregard for transparency constitutes a sharp break with the policies of previous U.S. administrations, both Democrat and Republican.”
Corruption is a serious and pervasive threat that can be ignored only at significant risk to U.S interests. The most effective way to combat corruption is by empowering local reformers, which means at a minimum standing up for anti-corruption norms and sanctioning predatory actors who exploit weak rule of law for private gain. Trump’s words and actions threaten to significantly undermine U.S. support for global transparency.
Trump’s anti-transparency agenda has already begun to take shape. One of the earliest laws the president signed was to repeal transparency requirements in the oil and gas industry. Since then, Trump and his appointees and nominees have cast doubt on enforcement of other key anti-corruption authorities, including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Furthermore, the Trump administration has to date ignored the Open Government Partnership and Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, two multilateral efforts to improve transparency, accountability, and innovation in government, leading many to fear that the United States may withdraw from both programs.
Click here to read the brief.
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