Tuesday, September 27, 2022

WATCH: House Committee on Roads and Means holds hearing on Pandora’s Documents and Hidden Treasures

SIOUX FALLS, SD (AP) – Democrats on the U.S. House Committee on Wednesday urged the world’s richest and most powerful majority to reduce financial secrecy, which has allowed them to hide their assets in South Dakota and other trusted states.

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At a hearing convened by the House Oversight Committee’s Committee on Methods and Tools, Democrats said they were shocked by an investigation by a consortium of international investigative journalists called Pandora Papers that revealed the United States’ secret confidence-building industry. South Dakota is leading.

Proponents of increasing financial transparency have called on lawmakers to make sure that the recently announced initiative of President Joe Biden’s administration covers trust reporting requirements for law enforcement and financial regulators.

“Leaving uncontrolled accumulation of hidden wealth will further complicate our two-tier tax system,” said New Jersey Democrat Bill Pascrell, who chairs the subcommittee. “I will not participate in further strengthening the economy with and without.”

The federal government’s move to regulate areas of trust could likely be an unfortunate event for Republican lawmakers in South Dakota who have worked closely with the trust industry to create financial shelter. In October, when a Pandora Papers review revealed that South Dakota had devised a way for the United States to become a leading destination for the world’s richest to put their assets, the state GOP wore the difference as an honorary badge.

On Wednesday, Pascrell described South Dakota as the “Great Cream of the Great Plains,” but also acknowledged that Democratic-governed states have succumbed to the practice. A Pandora Papers study found that trusts in South Dakota have more than quadrupled in the last decade to $ 360 billion, including $ 100 billion in the last three years.

South Dakota Gov. Christie Noem, a Republican who sat on the House Roads and Means Committee when she was in Congress, rejected an offer to testify at Wednesday’s hearing and said she had prior obligations. His office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Associated Press. Pascrell said he would send a list of questions to the governor.

At Wednesday’s hearing, Republicans largely objected to the committee’s theme, saying instead they should check for leaks of tax data soon. They also saw trust as a harmless practice used by small business owners, and noted that the Pandora Papers review did not find any clear illegal activity.

“No one here is supporting foreign nationals in money laundering in the United States,” said Mike Kelly, a Republican from the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. “I am concerned that many in the U.S. want to leave public trust behind and follow public reporting regimes and new rules. But farmers, small businesses and millions of ordinary Americans are using trusts to plan for the future.

However, among more than 330 current and former politicians who have benefited from secret accounts are King Abdullah II of Jordan, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Czech Prime Minister Andrei Babis, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso and their allies. Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Erika Hanichak, director of government affairs for the Coalition for Financial Responsibility and Corporate Transparency, told the committee: necessary. drug traffickers, human rights abusers, kleptocrats, terrorist financiers, and evading sanctions.


Nation World News Desk
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