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U.S. Withdraws From Global Anticorruption Initiative Aimed At Oil, Gas, Mining Industries

The United States has pulled out of a global campaign aimed at reducing corruption in oil, gas, forest, mining, and other natural-resources industries.

The U.S. Interior Department made the announcement in a letter issued on November 2, sent to the campaign's organizers, known as the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).

Gregory Gould, who heads the division within the Interior Department, said Washington would continue to fight corruption in so-called "extractive industries."

But, he wrote, "domestic implementation of EITI does not fully account for the U.S. legal framework."

The chairman of the initiative, which is headquartered in Norway, called the U.S. decision "a disappointing, backwards step."

Founded in 2002, the effort was aimed at helping developing countries that are rich in resources avoid the corruption, bribery, extortion, money laundering, and other issues that often plague industries like diamond mining, or forestry exporting.

A key provision forced companies to disclose payments made to foreign governments and in 2010, Congress passed a financial-reform law that required oil and gas companies listed on U.S. stock exchanges to reveal all such payments.

But major U.S. companies, including ExxonMobil and Chevron, lobbied heavily against those regulations, and President Donald Trump rescinded that specific rule not long after taking office.

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