U.S.: President Signs Into Law Conflict Minerals Legislation

Apart from the financial market regulatory reforms that constitute theoverwhelming focus of the new law, the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act imposes on many manufacturers new requirements relating to “conflict minerals.” Specifically, section 1502 will impose on many companies new SEC reporting requirements if their products contain metals derived from certain minerals defined as “conflict minerals.” These measures arise from heightened concerns in recent years regarding the role that revenues from the mining of certain minerals play in financing the ongoing conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (“DRC”). The conflict has been marked by the extreme use of sexual- and gender-based violence, which has contributed to an emergency humanitarian situation in eastern DRC and neighboring regions. The new law aims to use the market power of downstream manufacturers to begin to help address some of these longstanding issues.

 

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