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Joint letter from 108 groups supporting corporate transparency act of 2019

Author: Global Witness, ICAR & 106 other groups, Published on: 6 May 2019

[T]he undersigned organizations, write to express our strong support for your bipartisan Corporate Transparency Act of 2019 (H.R. 2513), which would require companies to disclose information about the real people who own or control them... at the time they are created. We support increased corporate transparency because it would: (a) curb corruption and fraud, which robs taxpayers of resources designated for infrastructure, healthcare, and other vital needs; (b) fight tax evasion, both domestically and abroad; (c) inhibit wildlife trafficking and other environmental crimes; (d) protect human rights and combat human trafficking; (e) curtail the financing of drug cartels that fuel the opioid epidemic; (f) promote sound corporate governance and financial stability; and (g) help ensure a fair and level playing field for honest businesses.

... Some examples include: Environmental Crimes: Norsudtimber, a European company that is the largest single owner of logging concessions in the Democratic Republic of Congo, is allegedly operating illegally on 90 percent of its sites in the country and used a global web of anonymous shell companies to facilitate the illegal international trade in timber [See reponse from Norsudtimber to these allegations on pages 22-25 in this report.]... A 2014 study...  found that the United States was the easiest place for criminals and kleptocrats to open an anonymous company to launder their proceeds with impunity... Congress should pass legislation, like the Corporate Transparency Act, that requires all companies to disclose their ultimate owners to the government when they incorporate and to keep that information up to date. 

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