Sens. Todd Young (R-IN) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) have reintroduced a measure they said would make efforts to address global corruption a national security priority.
The Combating Global Corruption Act would raise the profile of fighting international corruption noting the violation erodes trust and confidence in democratic institutions, the rule of law, and human rights protections.
“Global corruption is often at the root of conflict, humanitarian suffering, and political crises,” Young said. “In places like Afghanistan, Yemen, and Venezuela, corruption has undermined the rule of law and stood in the way of humanitarian aid reaching those in need. Our bipartisan legislation aims to combat international corruption by standing with the world’s most vulnerable and holding those in power responsible for their actions.”
The measure requires the State Department to identify corruption in countries and rank them in a public, three-tiered system concerning levels of corruption in their governments, similar to the Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons Report while also establishing minimum standards for combating corruption; evaluating foreign persons engaged in grand corruption in the lowest tiered countries for consideration under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act; designating an anti-corruption point of contact at diplomatic posts in the two lowest tiered countries.
“Corruption is a fundamental obstacle to peace, prosperity, and human rights all around the world,” Cardin said. “Where there are high levels of corruption, we find fragile states, authoritarian states, or states suffering from internal or external conflict. Combating corruption should be elevated and prioritized across our foreign policy efforts. I look forward to working with my colleagues and the Biden administration to ensure fighting corruption is a central U.S. national security priority.”