ICAR and co-signers submit letter to President Trump opposing change to the conflict minerals rule

Washington, D.C. (February 10, 2017) – The International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR) and twenty other organizations sent a letter to President Trump today expressing our strong opposition to any executive action suspending the conflict minerals rule implementing Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act.

Section 1502 requires U.S.-listed companies to disclose whether any 3TG minerals (tungsten, tantalum, tin, and gold) used in their products were mined in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and adjoining countries. The conflict minerals rule was prompted by bipartisan Congressional concern “that the exploitation and trade of conflict minerals originating in the [DRC] is helping to finance conflict characterized by extreme levels of violence in the eastern [DRC], particularly sexual- and gender-based violence, and contributing to an emergency humanitarian situation therein.”

Since the conflict minerals rule has gone into effect, there has been a major reduction in the number of conflict mines for the 3TG minerals in eastern DRC, and trade in these minerals is now significantly less lucrative for violent armed groups across the region.

Disclosure and reporting results in clear benefits to companies and investors, according to research conducted by Deloitte and Ernst & Young. Furthermore, complying with the conflict minerals rule is not overly burdensome for U.S. companies. An independent advisory firm found that compliance costs are in fact 74-85% less than the initial SEC estimate.

We urge the President to support the conflict minerals rule. Suspending the Rule would perpetuate human rights abuses and instability in the DRC and surrounding areas, threaten U.S. national security, and harm U.S. companies operating in and sourcing from the region.

The letter can be viewed here.

For media inquiries, please contact ICAR’s Executive Director, Amol Mehra at amol@icar.ngo or 202-296-0146. For further information on the letter, please contact Sophia Lin, ICAR’s Legal and Policy Associate, at sophia@icar.ngo or 202-296-0147.