March 7, 2017
Dear Commissioner Piwowar,
I am greatly concerned that you are considering weakening or eliminating the Conflict Minerals Rule.
Your description of the results of the Rule conflicts with the reports of observing NGOs, which indicate that 4/5 of surveyed miners working at tungsten, tin and tantulum mines in Congo are working at "conflict free" operations. This is in stark contrast to conditions existing before the Rule was implemented.
In addition, humanitarian conditions and the general rule of law have improved in mining areas of Congo and nearby countries since implementation.
When I purchase goods and appliances made with the metals mentioned above, I want to know that my dollars are not supporting violence in this troubled area of Africa, but actually helping people.
It is my understanding that the costs to industry of abiding by the Rule have been much less that originally predicted. This, along with the fact that conditions are improving for lose living and mining in these areas, indicate to me that the Rule has been successful. Perhaps it hasn't brought more extensive results, but it has made a big difference for the people of Africa, as well as to the peace of mind of many American consumers.
I strongly urge you to maintain the Conflict Medals Rule and work hard to enforce it fully.
Alan D. Howe