In an article published 11th August 2010 in the Embassy Magazine, Avinash Gavai expresses the concerns and implications of the Obama Admininstration’s decision to take an active role in pressing other nations to implement regulatory standards and transparent payments records policy within the natural resource and extraction industries – including oil extraction and mining.
Gavai describes the current legal provisions in the US mining industry:
The Wall Street reform bill that was signed into law by the US president will make it mandatory for mining companies to divulge information to the Securities and Exchange Commission information on payments made to governments for "extracting resources such as oil and gas, mining materials, gold, and diamonds." The amendment is seen as a pivotal move in providing transparency on the relationship between corporations and governments in countries where large-scale mining operations are taking or will take place, especially in Africa and Latin America.
The implications for Canada are likely to be pronounced, given that 60% of the world’s mining companies are located here. Its a rapidly growing sector, generating extensive financial capital: Canadian investments in the sector has grown from $30 billion to $110 billion within the six year between 2002 and 2008.
Legislative reforms in the US could possibly hinder or stall the organized resistance, particularly from the MAC, which has been building up against Bill C-300 which,
would in essence hold extraction and mining resources operating abroad accountable through federal oversight and penalize violators by denying them public support. [...] But Canadian civil society organizations are clear about the domino effects created by actions such as the Wall Street Reform Bill.
Both Canada and the US are part of the EITI (Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative) and while Canada joined last year, it has yet to take the step forward in fully implementing the program’s required regulations. The US came through by “walking the talk on EITI” and its time for Ottawa to do the same.
Source: Avinash Agavai, ‘US mining legislation will affect Canada’ in Embassy Magazine August 11 2010.