June 03, 2013 Articles

Business Groups Assert Conflict with SEC's Conflict Minerals Rule

A significant segment of U.S. business anxiously awaits the D.C. Circuit's decision.

By Reagan E. Bradford – June 3, 2013

Beginning in the 1990s, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has endured one of the deadliest conflicts of the modern era, including “some of the world’s worst human rights atrocities.” Democratic Republic of the Congo Relief, Security, and Democracy Promotion Act of 2006, PL 109-456, § 101(5). By many accounts, the ongoing and deadly conflict is perpetuated by the illegal development and export of the considerable mineral resources in the DRC, including tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold (conflict minerals). According to the U.S. Department of State, the “[c]landestine trade in minerals and other natural resources facilitate[s] the purchase of small arms to commit abuses and reduce[s] government revenues needed for increasing security and rebuilding the country.” U.S. Department of State, 2011 Human Rights Report for the DRC 15. In response to this continuing crisis, the United States has, among other efforts, enacted legislation providing hundreds of millions of dollars to DRC for humanitarian aid and other assistance.

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