Washington D.C. – Congressman Adam Smith joined Acting Under Secretary Szubin of the Treasury Department in Seattle today for a conversation with local stakeholders, community leaders, organizations, and money transfer operators to discuss the important role that remittances play for Somalia and the Philippines and efforts to facilitate remittances through legitimate and transparent channels.
In recognition of these important issues, Congressman Smith cosponsored the Money Remittances Improvement Act of 2014 which was signed into law by the President on August 8, 2014, and has met with numerous government officials in attempts to find ways to continue U.S. remittances to Somalia. Congressman Smith continues to call for the U.S. government to take steps to cooperate with and support Somalia and its people whenever possible. Congressman Smith remains ready to help in any way he can.
Acting Under Secretary Szubin was nominated by the White House to serve as Treasury’s Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence on April 20, 2015. This position leads the Treasury Department’s policy, enforcement, regulatory, and intelligence functions aimed at identifying and disrupting the lines of financial support to international terrorist organizations, proliferators of weapons of mass destruction, narcotics traffickers, and other actors posing a threat to our national security or foreign policy. The Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence is also responsible for overseeing the Department’s efforts to combat money laundering and financial crimes.
“June 27th’s community conversation and engagement provided a powerful platform to reiterate our earlier calls for the processing of remittances. As a vital component of the Somali economy, remittances help many families pay for every day necessities such as food, medicine, education, as well as help expand economic and business opportunities in Somalia,” said Congressman Smith. “We need to make it easier for residents of the 9th District and Somali-Americans everywhere to send money back to their families in Somalia. Having Acting U/S Szubin here in Seattle shows the Treasury Department’s commitment to our efforts.”
“Treasury is working to ensure that remittance flows are transparent, safe, and strong, and recognizes the importance of remittances from the United States reaching loved ones abroad,” said Adam J. Szubin, Acting Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. “Challenges remain, but we are encouraged by the continued robust flows of remittances and by the progress that’s being made in increasing transparency and oversight. I am further encouraged by the thoughtful dialogue that I have had with Congressman Adam Smith, his constituents, money transmitters, and local banks on this important issue. We look forward to working with Congressman Smith and other members of Congress in the weeks and months ahead.”
Congressman Smith and Acting Under Secretary Szubin will continue to support efforts to build a strong Somalia, with a sustainable and well-regulated and supervised financial system in Somalia, and support its people whenever possible.