As the United States and its global partners kick off the highly anticipated Summit for Democracy this week, there’s a unique window of opportunity for collaboration in combating illicit financial flows that contribute to the erosion of democracy around the world. As a leading proponent of democratic ideals, the United States must serve as a credible partner to safeguard democracy, promote global economic development and help combat corruption.
President Biden and his team started out strong during his first year in office, issuing the first-ever whole-of-government “U.S. Strategy on Countering Corruption” and boosting attention to tackling corruption as part of our diplomatic and foreign assistance efforts. At the first Summit for Democracy at the end of 2021, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen boldly admitted that the U.S. has emerged as the easiest country to conceal ill-gotten wealth, noting “there are far too many financial shadows in America that give corruption cover.” Last year, the U.S., working with allies, made a concerted effort to find and seize the assets of Russian oligarchs.