Cameron wants openness in extractive industries

May 13, 2013 at 6:28 AM
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WASHINGTON, May 13 (UPI) -- A "veil of secrecy" is clouding international developments in the extractive industries, British Prime Minister David Cameron said.

Cameron arrived Monday for a three-day visit to the United States to meet with U.S. President Barack Obama. He's expected to offer a preview of issues before the Group of Eight ahead of a June meeting in Northern Ireland.

He writes in The Wall Street Journal that G8 members need a common standard for the extractive industries where companies report all of their payments and governments report their full revenues.

"We must lift the veil of secrecy that too often lets corrupt corporations and officials in some countries run rings around the law," he writes.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ruled last year that oil and natural gas companies must disclose payments to foreign governments. The legislation is part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform act.

Energy company representatives say parts of the Dodd-Frank Act may be viewed as a violation of free-speech protections in the U.S. Constitution.

"We need business to make the case for new openness about who really owns and controls every company," Cameron writes. "And we must all work harder to secure and fully implement the new standard that will see oil, gas and mining companies reporting project by project payments across the world without exception."

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