Russia stands up to FATCA; will Flaherty and Baird be as forthright?

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Copious thanks to Jim Jatras for calling the following to our attention.

The government of Russia, and more specifically the Foreign Minister (and not, please note, their Finance Minister), has weighed into the FATCA discussion with this very forthright statement that any agreement between the US and Russia on FATCA must be fully reciprocal and must respect Russian sovereignty and must not impose foreign extraterritorial legislation on the actions of Russian institutions.

http://tinyurl.com/Russia-article-November-2-2013

I urge everyone to write Flaherty, Harper and your members of Parliament along the following lines (please use your own words or modify mine, I don’t want this to become boilerplate text). I sent this to Flaherty with copies to Rankin, Brison, May and my MP Paul Dewar (also Foreign Affairs critic). Others might wish to send this as well to Harper (who’ll just bounce it to Flaherty if his office replies at all) and to Baird (who has never even acknowledged anything I’ve sent him, nor has his ministerial correspondence unit).

“Please note in the following news item today, that Russia has made it very clear that any agreement between the US and Russia over FATCA must be fully reciprocal and must respect Russian sovereignty. The statement also mentions that FATCA as currently formulated is an extraterritorial violation of the sovereign equality of other countries.

“It would be utterly unacceptable for Canada to accept or insist on less than what Russia does, in any agreement with the US over FATCA. As it is highly unlikely the US can respect or even get full reciprocity, which would require US Senate approval not yet forthcoming in even one IGA the US has signed, I think the most rational approach for Canada to take is to walk away from negotiations with the US over this, to insist on Canadian financial institutional compliance with current Canadian law and our Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and to contemplate protections or retaliatory sanctions against the US should it ever actually enforce the threatened sanctions against Canadian financial institutions that have branches in the US.

“Canada’s sovereignty is no less important than Russia’s, and I expect that my government will stand up for Canadians as forthrightly as the Russian government does for its own citizens and sovereignty. It would be a very sad, pathetic commentary on any Canadian government that would not do so.”