President Donald Trump signed a bill on Tuesday repealing a rule that would have required oil, gas and mining firms to disclose payments made to foreign governments.
The bill, known as H.J.Res.41, repeals a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rule that required resource extraction companies to disclose payments made to foreign governments.
According to the FCPA Blog, the SEC rule would have required oil, gas and mining firms to make annual disclosures about payments made to foreign governments tied to production rights, permits, taxes and other expenses.
The rule was adopted by the SEC in August 2012 as part of the Dodd-Frank Act and was set to go into effect in September 2018.
“This is a big signing, a very important signing,” Trump said during the bill signing ceremony.
The repeal does not alter FCPA anti-bribery provisions that target payments made to foreign officials, political parties or other organizations in an effort to win or retain business, the FCPA Blog said.
Foreign governments in resource rich countries often control energy and mining assets either directly or through state-owned companies.
Energy and mining firms often pay foreign governments for exploration rights as well as production royalties, taxes and other fees.
Oil, gas and mining companies will still have to disclose payments made to foreign governments under rules currently in place in the European Union and Canada.
American Petroleum Institute President and CEO Jack Gerard praised the repeal, calling it a victory for American companies and workers.
“The oil and natural gas industry strongly supports transparency and has pursued this effort for over a decade through the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, a globally accepted framework,” Gerard said.