February 14, 2017
Dear Chairman Piwowar
I appreciate the opportunity to tell you my views on Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Since 1998 more people have died in the Democratic Republic of Congo(DRC) than any other country in the world. According to the International Rescue Committee, over 5.4 million people have died in the DRC between 1998 and 2007. For the last decade the country's instability has prevented any reliable reporting, but the violence in the DRC continued unabated until 2012 with the implementation of Dodd-Frank's Conflict Free Mineral Act.
There are four minerals from the DRC that are used in many of our electronic devises: tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold. They are used in our cell phones, personal computers, cameras and many of our other electronic devices. The DRC has significant deposits of all these valuable minerals. Prior to Dodd- Frank Section 1502, the riches in the DRC were a liability to the population as the mines were controlled by illegal militias. Since the implementation of Section 1502, the prices of these mineral has gone down. Today 79 per cent of the conflict minerals come from certified conflict free mines. Furthermore the number of internally displaced people has decreased from 3.4 million people to 1.9 million by the end of 2016.(Statistics from Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative,"Conflict-Free Smelter Program Indicators", available at:
http://wwww.conflictfreesourcing.org/members/active-and-compliant-smelter-count/last accessed December 5, 2016
The Conflict-Free Mineral Rule is working. The rule requires all publicly traded companies to report on their minerals' supply chains sourced from the DRC. There are no fines or boycotts for noncompliance. Customers simply want to know where their devices' components come from. In the DRC, illegal militias are losing their revenue source. A legitimate infrastructure is evolving. Agricultural exports are improving. This Valentine's Day I purchased chocolates from Theo Chocolates with chocolate from the DRC. Infrastucture development.
Do not let this successful rule vanish. Lives are being saved. Section 1502 is working. Thank you for soliciting public comments and I appreciate your consideration.