April 21, 2011
Congress has given the SEC the mandate to help bring an end to the violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo by implementing rules for Section 1502 (Conflict Minerals) of the Dodd Frank Act. This is helpful to me because I want to be able to choose to purchase goods that I can count on to be truly DRC conflict-free. I want to know if things I buy are financing the violence in the Congo, so the reporting requirements should take effect immediately.
I know several people working in Africa and one is very close to the DRC so this is a personal concern.
All companies should be required to comply with the full set of reporting requirements as soon as they are published. Since I'm sure many companies don't want to do this you should require companies to report about their supply chains to see if they are using conflict minerals, especially from the Congo. Then these companies can label their products as DRC Conflict Free and the SEC and the public can monitor the accuracy of those claims. They should post the information on their company website and on the SEC website. The rules should cover all conflict minerals like gold, tin, tungsten and tantalum, and all companies.
I appreciate what the SEC is doing on this issue and I would like guidance on this to direct my investing decisions (in my retirement plans) and in my purchasing decisions.