United States of America President Joe Biden has introduced new strategies to fight financial corruption, pledging a government-wide campaign to identify and punish bad actors who move illicit wealth in the United States and around the world.

Biden said the effort is a core national security interest and the administration would work with Congress to bring more scrutiny to trust companies, lawyers and other financial gatekeepers, seek to identify owners “hiding behind opaque” corporations and target those involved in real estate transactions used to hide or launder money.

The administration has also promised to ramp up anti-corruption investigations at the Treasury Department and other federal agencies and elevate U.S. efforts to partner with anti-money laundering regimes in other countries. The plan includes a call for greater diplomatic efforts to defend investigative journalists who expose corruption.

He said U.S. has become the largest destination for parking wealth funded by corruption and criminal activity because current law encourages the U.S. trust industry to compete on the basis of providing anonymity and shirking public accountability. Additionally, he said that this effectively weaponizes the country’s otherwise strong rule-of-law financial systems against its country, undermining national security and democratic institutions domestically and internationally.

To guide implementation, the Strategy organizes U.S. Government efforts to fight corruption under five mutually-reinforcing pillars: Modernizing, coordinating, and resourcing U.S. Government efforts to fight corruption; Curbing illicit finance; Holding Corrupt Actors Accountable; Preserving and strengthening the multilateral anti-corruption architecture; Improving diplomatic engagement and leveraging foreign assistance resources to achieve anti-corruption policy goals.

Corruption being a global problem requires global solutions. The move by U.S. President to counter corruption is not a simple task. Changing embedded cultures of corruption requires significant political will, and achieving sustained progress can take decades. Positive change requires consistent leadership, public accountability, an empowered and impartial judiciary, and a diverse and independent media.

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