SEC probing Cat dealer Iran, Syria and Sudan sales
Construction giant among big names being investigated by SEC in the US
Caterpillar is among a dozen blue chip companies under investigation by the Securities Exchange Commission in the US for their dealings in Syria, Iran and Sudan.
The SEC is seeking clarification from a dozen big names such as Siemens and Sony on the nature of their foreign subsidary, dealer and distributor sales.
The issue of non-US subsidary sales undermining US foreign policy has also become a House of Congress issue in the US. Democrat Howard Berman who sits on the House foreign affairs committee said that the activities of foreign subsidiaries were being used to demonstrate that the US is not taking its own sanctions seriously.
"The notion that a foreign subsidiary of a US company can conduct business that would be sanctionable in the US undermines our efforts to prevent Iran from achieving a nuclear-weapons capability,” he said.
As a US-listed company, Caterpillar is subject to the trade sanctions and regulations that control the sales of US-manufactured product into the three countries.
Caterpillar sold $23.7 million of equipment into Iran last year and it has subsequently closed sales to the country. However, according to the SEC, Cat reported it has continued to trade into Syria and Sudan.
"Several of Caterpillar's non-US subsidiaries have sold and continue to sell products to Syria and Sudan as permitted under US economic sanctions and export controls," Cat clarified to the SEC.
Meanwhile Caterpillar has revealed it is going to sell a part of its Bucyrus mining equipment distribution business to Sime Darby of Malaysia for $360 million.