The U.S. Capitol is photographed behind a chain fence in Washington September 30, 2013.
Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

Last week, along largely partisan lines, Congress voted to repeal a Securities and Exchange Commission rule requiring oil, gas, and mining companies to disclose the payments they make to governments for access to natural resources. According to congressional Republicans and some in the oil and gas industry, the rule creates unacceptable burdens and puts U.S. companies at a disadvantage to foreign competitors. Validity aside, these claims ignore the central purpose of the law. Mandated by Section 1504 of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act but not scheduled to go into effect until late 2018, it has already become a core element of U.S. leadership in fighting corruption around the world. Since passage of Section 1504, 30 other countries have passed similar disclosure rules for the extractives sector. And because large-scale corruption is a driver of insecurity, conflict, and terrorism, repeal of the SEC rule makes Americans less safe.

Resource-rich, underdeveloped countries often have weak institutions

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