Rep. Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersOn The Money — Unemployment claims at lowest level since late 1960s Waters asks corporate America for details on Russia exodus Push to make daylight saving time permanent has longtime backers MORE (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, is asking trade associations representing financial institutions and other companies to detail the steps their members are taking to sever ties with Russia.
In a letter to more than 30 prominent corporate lobbying groups Thursday, Waters requested the names of companies that are continuing to do business in Russia and pressed them to explain why they haven’t exited the nation following the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine. She also asked for details about how companies are divesting from Russia and complying with U.S. sanctions.
“Even though multiple companies have voluntarily divested from Russia, the committee currently lacks a clear picture of the extent of these divestments,” Waters wrote in the letter, which was addressed to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, American Bankers Association and the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, among others.
In her letter, Waters said she is “heartened” by corporate America’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Most major American companies have suspended their operations in Russia, including Visa, Goldman Sachs, Apple, ExxonMobil, Nike, Dell and FedEx.
Roughly 400 multinational corporations have pledged to withdraw some or all of their operations in Russia, according to researchers at Yale University.
Companies are responding to Russia’s violent invasion of Ukraine, along with Western sanctions that make it virtually impossible for some firms to do business in Russia and supply chain issues stemming from shipping giants shutting down transport to the country.
Most American banks have a small footprint in Russia with the exception of Citigroup, which has nearly $10 billion invested in the country. The bank has been struggling to sell its Russian retail banking business, complicating its ability to withdraw from Russia.
Waters’s letter also reaches out to groups representing cryptocurrency exchanges, which largely have not cut off access to Russian users. Some European government officials and U.S. lawmakers have raised concerns that Russian oligarchs could use digital currency to evade Western sanctions.