Biden Administration Releases a Plan on Fighting Corruption with One Major Miss

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Posted: Dec 07, 2021 12:00 PM
Biden Administration Releases a Plan on Fighting Corruption with One Major Miss

Source: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool

The Biden administration published a lengthy plan to fight corruption on Monday, targeting a number of industries and practices. 

"Corruption is a cancer within the body of societies—a disease that eats at public trust and the ability of governments to deliver for their citizens. The deleterious effects of corruption impact nearly all aspects of society. It exacerbates social, political, and economic inequality and polarization; impedes the ability of states to respond to public health crises or to deliver quality education; degrades the business environment and economic opportunity; drives conflict; and undermines faith in government. Those that abuse positions of power for private gain steal not just material wealth, but human dignity and welfare," the White House released in a statement. 

"Today, in line with the President’s direction, the Biden-Harris Administration is releasing the first-ever United States Strategy on Countering Corruption. The Strategy outlines a whole-of-government approach to elevating the fight against corruption," the statement continues. "It places particular emphasis on better understanding and responding to the threat’s transnational dimensions, including by taking additional steps to reduce the ability of corrupt actors to use the U.S. and international financial systems to hide assets and launder the proceeds of corrupt acts." 

One of the industries flagged in the strategy is the art and antiquities market. 

Art and antiquities markets: The AML Act mandates that the Treasury conduct a study of the facilitation of money laundering, terrorism finance, and other illicit financial dealings through the trade in works of art, which will be sent to the Congress by the end of 2021. The markets for art and antiquities—and the market participants who facilitate transactions—are especially vulnerable to a range of financial crimes. Built-in opacity, lack of stable and predictable pricing, and inherent cross-border transportability of goods sold, make the market optimal for illicit value transfer, sanctions evasion, and corruption. In September 2021, FinCEN issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) to solicit public comment on questions related to Section 6110 of the AML Act, which amends the Bank Secrecy Act by including as a type of financial institution a person engaged in the trade of antiquities. The comment period for the ANPRM ended on October 25, 2021, and FinCEN will adjudicate the comments with a view to issuing an NPRM in 2022.

But President Joe Biden's own family dealings weren't mentioned in the report as Hunter Biden sells his "art" for $500,000 a piece while the White House conceals the name of the buyers. 

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