Disclosure Mandates Shouldn’t Disadvantage American Businesses and Investors
ASA sends letter to Financial Services Committee ahead of markup.
WASHINGTON – The American Securities Association (ASA) sent a letter to the House Financial Services Committee ahead of today’s markup and called on Congress to adopt policies that incentivize capital to stay in and flow to American companies while maintaining a level playing field to compete globally.
“We implore this Committee to make certain that every issuer, both foreign or domestic, and every foreign company included in an index offered by a fund issuer (i.e. ETF or otherwise) be explicitly subject to all of the U.S. disclosure mandates you will vote on today,” ASA CEO Chris Iacovella wrote in the letter. “Disclosure carveouts for companies from Communist China would be a special brand of absurdity, which if permitted would disadvantage American businesses and completely undermine the important goal of providing disclosure to American investors.”
In the letter, ASA outlined its support for the Improving Corporate Governance Through Diversity Act, and called on the Committee to strengthen the diversity criteria to include individuals of diverse viewpoints and diverse professional/educational backgrounds. “Today, more than ever, public companies need the benefit of hearing from individuals with different experiences who will question and engage with executives about the appropriate direction and decision-making of public companies," Iacovella wrote. “The inclusion of individuals of different genders, races, ethnicities, viewpoints, and experiences is necessary to achieve the policy goals this Committee rightly seeks to achieve.”
Given that companies are already required to disclose their political contributions and lobbying activity, ASA strongly opposes duplicative regulation. The Shareholder Political Transparency Act “would allow the securities laws to be used as a public relations tool to silence political opposition,” Iacovella wrote. “The Committee should respect the First Amendment rights of all Americans and vote this bill down.”
ASA also raised some questions about the ESG Disclosure Simplification Act related to who benefits from a prescriptive disclosure framework, whether increased compliance costs will further entrench the large and mega-cap companies whose size many claim distorts our political economy, and why Congress is inserting itself into management’s business judgment about what is material to its business.
To read ASA’s full letter to the Committee, click here.
ASA’s regional financial services companies work in communities across the country to create jobs, grow the economy, and increase prosperity for all Americans. The ASA exclusively represents the capital market and private client interests of its members and seeks to promote free market principles making it easier to access financial advice and capital. ASA members help Americans save for retirement, provide Main Street businesses with capital to grow, and advise hardworking Americans how to create and preserve wealth. For the latest updates follow @AmerSecurities and learn more at http://americansecurities.org/.