The Treaty to End Financial Privacy

Don’t judge a treaty by its title, no matter how bureaucratically mundane it may sound. Exhibit A: The Protocol Amending the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters.

The U.S. Treasury Department is marketing the agreement as just another tax treaty, because such treaties are usually positive or benign. But this is no ordinary tax treaty. If ratified by the Senate, it will lead to substantially more transnational identity theft, crime, industrial espionage and financial fraud. Moreover, it will enable authoritarian and corrupt governments to suppress political opponents and religious or ethnic minorities. Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) have wisely put a hold on the treaty. But the administration is trying its best to shake it loose. Last week, President Obama publicly derided Paul’s opposition to the treaty as “quirky.” It’s not. Opposition to the treaty is principled, and of tremendous importance to the American people.

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