March 6, 2017
Dear Commissioner Piwowar,
I am writing to express my support for the continued implementation of the Conflict Minerals Rule. As a consumer, it is important to me that I am able to access key information about the companies I purchase from, including information about their conflict minerals sourcing practices.
I do not want my purchases to support violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the Conflict Minerals Rule has made it easier for me to assess which companies are taking steps to ensure their products are not linked to this decades-long conflict. Additionally, I believe transparent supply chains are an important indicator of a companys overall stability, which is a key factor for making both purchasing and investment decisions.
If the Rule is suspended or weakened, it would incentivize armed groups in eastern Congo to return to hundreds of tin, tantalum, and tungsten mines, causing an increased humanitarian crisis. This would also lead to increased corruption in the minerals certification process in Congo and the region, thus creating major risks for U.S. companies sourcing minerals, and it would likely lead to a new de facto embargo on minerals from Congo, Rwanda, and the Great Lakes region. Furthermore, the cost for U.S. businesses to comply with the rule has been 74 to 85 percent less than the original SEC estimate, according to new information from Elm Sustainability Partners.
I urge you to keep the Conflict Minerals Rule fully intact, and to work with your fellow SEC commissioners to enforce the Rule moving forward.