Today’s Senate Banking hearing on Hong Kong makes it clear that legislation will soon advance secondary sanctions on banks doing business with entities that contribute to violations of Hong Kong’s Basic Law. As detailed in this report, Chairman Crapo (R-ID) indicated that the committee will advance the legislation despite Ranking Member Brown’s (D-OH) opposition to unilateral U.S. sanctions on large foreign banks. When the chairman does so, it seems likely that the bill will be changed in several respects to reduce its scope and, despite Sen. Brown’s concerns, the measure will have bipartisan support above and beyond Sen. Van Hollen (D-MD), who joined Sen. Toomey (R-PA) in introducing S. 3798. Sen. Cortez Masto (D-NV) singled out HSBC for supporting China’s new national security law, suggesting that Congress should not hesitate to take action against companies that give in to Chinese pressure. At this hearing, Sen. Reed (D-RI) renewed calls for beneficial ownership legislation (see FSM Report LAUNDER129), now pushing the SEC also to require public companies to disclose the beneficial owners of their shares.
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