Oil companies are seizing on a White House executive order that promotes international regulatory harmony to seek an exemption from upcoming federal rules that would force energy producers to disclose payments to foreign governments.

The American Petroleum Institute (API) cites the May 1 order in a new letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission, arguing it backs up the industry’s long push for exemptions from the pending SEC rules if countries where projects are located bar the disclosure.

“If the Commission were to issue a final rule that requires reporting even when it conflicts with foreign laws, such a rule would cause exactly the type of unnecessary competitive harm that the Executive Order seeks to avoid,” states the May 18 letter from the powerful industry trade group to the SEC.