Statement at the SEC’s Emerging Markets Roundtable
July 9, 2020
Good morning and welcome to the SEC’s Emerging Markets Roundtable. We have a packed agenda today so I will truncate my opening remarks and refer you to the citations in the online version for more detail.
In recent years, U.S. investors and our capital markets have increased exposure to companies with significant operations in emerging markets, including China. Today’s Roundtable is the latest in a series of efforts to highlight and discuss the various risks to investors—including inspection for compliance with, and enforcement of, U.S. laws and other risks relating to disclosure and financial reporting—that have accompanied this increased exposure. I want to thank all of the panelists we have here today for helping us think about how we can continue to raise investor awareness of this shift and the steps that can be taken to mitigate the attendant risks. As we discuss these issues, my focus, and the focus of the SEC staff, has been and will continue to be on our core mission of ensuring continued investor choice and appropriate investor protection.
As I mentioned, this Roundtable is the latest in a series of efforts on this important issue. The SEC staff and I, along with the Chairman of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) Bill Duhnke, have issued several joint statements highlighting risks for investors in emerging markets, including China. In addition, the SEC staff and I have engaged with our fellow regulators and congressional leaders to highlight and address barriers to information that impede access to audit work and practices of PCAOB-registered auditing firms. We also have continued to engage with U.S. auditing firms to discuss audit quality and certain of the challenges faced in auditing public company operations in emerging markets, including China. In those discussion we have emphasized the need for effective and consistent global oversight of member firms, including the need to supplement internal audit quality control procedures when regulatory oversight is more limited. More recently, the President issued a memorandum to the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets to make recommendations to address the investor protection concerns arising from the inability of U.S. regulators to inspect for compliance with and enforce U.S. laws with respect to certain Chinese issuers.
I look forward to hearing from all the participants today. I expect your contributions will inform our work and the work with our fellow regulators, including the President’s Working Group. Thank you to the staff across multiple Divisions and Offices for their work organizing today’s Roundtable and thank you to all the panelists who will be sharing their insight.
 See SEC Division of Economic and Risk Analysis, U.S. Investors’ Exposure to Domestic Chinese Issuers (July 6, 2020), available at https://www.sec.gov/files/US-Investors-Exposure-to-Domestic-Chinese-Issuers_2020.07.06.pdf.
 See SEC Chairman Jay Clayton, Former SEC Chief Accountant Wes Bricker, and PCAOB Chairman William D. Duhnke III, Statement on the Vital Role of Audit Quality and Regulatory Access to Audit and Other Information Internationally—Discussion of Current Information Access Challenges with Respect to U.S.-listed Companies with Significant Operations in China (Dec. 7, 2018), available at https://www.sec.gov/news/public-statement/statement-vital-role-audit-quality-and-regulatory-access-audit-and-other; SEC Chairman Jay Clayton, PCAOB Chairman William D. Duhnke III, SEC Chief Accountant Sagar Teotia and SEC Division of Corporation Finance Director Bill Hinman, Statement on Continued Dialogue with Audit Firm Representatives on Audit Quality in China and Other Emerging Markets; Coronavirus — Reporting Considerations and Potential Relief (Feb. 19, 2020), available at https://www.sec.gov/news/public-statement/statement-audit-quality-china-2020-02-19; SEC Chairman Jay Clayton, PCAOB Chairman William D. Duhnke III, SEC Chief Accountant Sagar Teotia, SEC Division of Corporation Finance Director William Hinman and SEC Division of Investment Management Director Dalia Blass, Emerging Market Investments Entail Significant Disclosure, Financial Reporting and Other Risks; Remedies are Limited (Apr. 21, 2020), available at https://www.sec.gov/news/public-statement/emerging-market-investments-disclosure-reporting.
 See, e.g., letter to the Honorable Rick Scott from SEC Chairman Jay Clayton (May 4, 2020), available at https://www.rickscott.senate.gov/sites/default/files/2020-05/Scott%20-%20Jan%20and%20Feb%20ltrs%20-Response%5b2%5d.pdf.
 Press Release, SEC Chairman Clayton, PCAOB Chairman Duhnke, and Members of SEC Staff Meet With Auditing Firm Representatives to Discuss Audit Quality in Emerging Economies and Markets (Nov. 4, 2019), available at https://www.sec.gov/news/press-release/2019-228. See also, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton, PCAOB Chairman William D. Duhnke III, SEC Chief Accountant Sagar Teotia and SEC Division of Corporation Finance Director Bill Hinman, Statement on Continued Dialogue with Audit Firm Representatives on Audit Quality in China and Other Emerging Markets; Coronavirus — Reporting Considerations and Potential Relief (Feb. 19, 2020), available at https://www.sec.gov/news/public-statement/statement-audit-quality-china-2020-02-19.