The U.S. Department of the Treasury is commending the United Kingdom’s establishment of a Global Anti-Corruption Sanctions program.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen recently praised the initiative, noting it builds upon the success of the U.K.’s Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime. It gives the United Kingdom an authority similar to the U.S. Global Magnitsky program and Canada’s Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act.
Those initiatives target both human rights abusers and those involved in corrupt activity.
“Corruption is corrosive to governance and is one of the greatest obstacles to global growth, economic stability, and poverty alleviation,” Yellen noted via an issued statement. “The United Kingdom’s new Global Anti-Corruption Sanctions Regime provides opportunities for the United States and the United Kingdom to take complementary sanctions actions where appropriate, magnifying the impact of our respective sanctions.”
Yellen indicated domestic sanctions are more likely to compel changes in behavior and disrupt threatening activities when pursued in concert with allies, citing a more forceful economic impact by disrupting access to the international financial system.
“Sanctions are, however, but one tool,” Yellen concluded. “In addition to sanctions, Treasury will also support global efforts to combat corruption through provision of guidance to financial institutions; technical assistance; and engagement with foreign and private sector partners to encourage reforms, ensure corrupt officials are held accountable, and see that vulnerabilities to corruption are addressed.”