On July 14, David M. Luna, ICAIE’s Executive Director, testified before the U.S. Senate Finance Subcommittee on Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Growth for the hearing focused on China, Defending and Investing in U.S. Competitiveness. Luna raised the profile of the ongoing fight related to the converging illicit economies and his appearance officially launched the International Coalition Against Illicit Economies (ICAIE) in a high-level, congressional forum on Capitol Hill.
Highlights from Luna's remarks in the hearing:
The overall hearing focused on China's harm to the U.S. and global competitiveness. Luna discussed how, “China today is helping fuel this global illegal economy through the illicit manufacturing and unauthorized exporting of harmful products, such as the chemical precursors to make deadly fentanyl and other opioids, fake goods that can cause great bodily harm or death, and other contraband that hurts our industries, supply chains, and economy.”
Luna stated, “The United Nations has estimated that the dirty money laundered generated annually from such criminal activities is between 2% and 5% of global GDP, or $1.6 to $4 trillion.”
Additionally, Luna noted in response to a question from Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) on money laundering and illicit trade that “China seems to be the common denominator, with Chinese illicit proceeds dwarfing all others.”
Luna offered several policy solutions, including a congressional caucus and/or an advisory commission to focus on illicit trade issues, and asked Congress to pass the bipartisan, bicameral Shop Safe Act (House version, Senate version).