Opinion\Op-Ed Contributors

Trump lessening supervision of energy sectors

China Daily | Updated: 2017-02-08 07:40

Trump lessening supervision of energy sectors

US President Donald Trump speaks while signing executive orders at the White House in Washington January 24, 2017. [Photo/Agencies]

THE REPUBLICAN-LED US CONGRESS has killed a US securities disclosure rule aimed at curbing corruption at big oil, gas and mining companies by requiring them to publicly state the taxes and fees they pay to governments. commented on Sunday:

Approved last June, the US Securities and Exchange Commission's "extraction rule" requires oil, gas, mining and other companies to make public the taxes and other fees they pay local governments.

That is not to say, of course, US oil enterprises will be free to bribe foreign officials. But by calling the extraction rule "burdensome and costly" for energy companies and seeking to put it to rest, the Donald Trump administration is step-by-step lessening the anti-corruption supervision on overseas oil and gas companies.

That points to the fact that Trump is not shy of shirking global commitments long upheld by his predecessors.

His "America First" approach and opportunist nature will greatly alter US foreign policy, making the world's largest economy and previously staunch protector of the world order a troublemaker.

It can be expected that the traditional energy industry will be at the top of Trump's agenda. This could be a game-changer in not only the relations between the US and other major energy exporters, but also regional and global security.

That said, the geopolitical significance of certain energy suppliers could well wane in the eyes of Washington, which might refrain from intervening in regional affairs even in the face of a power vacuum following its withdrawal. A likely reshuffle of regional powers can become a major uncertainty facing world stability.

What is even more notable is that Trump, who had claimed to be fighting for the underclass, remains a supporter of the rich and powerful, such as the traditional energy groups.

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