Contact Information:

Center for
Freedom and Prosperity
 P.O. Box 10882
Alexandria, Virginia 22310-9998
Phone: 202-285-0244
Fax: 208-728-9639

Press Release, October 3, 2001

For Immediate Release
Wednesday, October 3, 2001

Money Laundering Bills Will Undermine International
Cooperation In The Fight Against Terrorism

More than twenty-five prominent free-market leaders and supporters of individual liberty today sent a letter to President George W. Bush to express concerns that proposed money laundering legislation will undermine international cooperation in the fight against crime. The letter pointed out that threats of financial protectionism will create animosity and instead advocated that the United States expand its network of mutual legal assistance treaties. [copy of letter linked]

The Center for Freedom and Prosperity Foundation also released an analysis detailing why Senator John Kerry's "International Counter-Money Laundering Act" (S. 398) and Senator Carl Levin's "Money Laundering Abatement Act" (S. 1371) will discourage other nations from assisting the United States in the investigation and prosecution of universally recognized crimes such as the murderous attacks of September 11. [copy attached]

"Money laundering laws already require millions of reports on the financial practices of law-abiding citizens, forcing law enforcement to search for a needle in a haystack," said Andrew Quinlan, President of the Center for Freedom and Prosperity and Foundation. "Making the haystack even bigger is not the right answer, and proposals that will reduce our political and economic ties with other nations will make it even harder to get cooperation in the fight against crime," Quinlan added.

Daniel Mitchell of the Heritage Foundation concurred, noting "The horrible attacks on September 11 underscore the importance of international cooperation. This is why America should improve both the reach and effectiveness of mutual legal assistance treaties and be prepared to sanction nations that refuse to participate in these alliances against crime." But with regards to the current legislation, Mitchell said, "Supporters seem more interested in penalizing nations because they have attractive tax systems and competitive financial service industries."

The letter also urged the immediate withdrawal of the tax harmonization initiatives being pushed by the European Union and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. This step, according to the letter, would facilitate the expansion of mutual legal assistance treaties since low-tax jurisdictions could more effectively help fight crime without having to worry that they might be obligated to put the tax laws of other nations above their own.

Linked are copies of the letter to the President (organizations listed for identification purposes only) and the CFP Foundation report entitled, Money Laundering Legislation Would Discourage International Cooperation in the Fight Against Crime.

For further information, please contact CFP at 202-285-0244 or email us at Our web page is:

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