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April 21, 2017

New House Bill Would Repeal SEC’s Conflict Minerals Regulation

The U.S. House Financial Services Committee (HFSC) last week released draft discussion text of the Financial Choice Act, which will repeal large portions of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform bill.

Among the provisions the draft seeks to eliminate is the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) conflict minerals regulation, which the Metals Service Center Institute (MSCI) strongly opposes. In a letter to HFSC Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) sent last December, MSCI argued, “The case for repeal is strong,” noting that “a Government Accountability Office (GAO) study … found U.S. companies continue to have significant difficulty fulfilling their disclosure responsibilities” and that “the regulation already has cost companies $4.7 billion and 2.2 million in paperwork hours.” The letter also provided evidence that “the rule also hasn’t helped improve the lives of the men and women living and working in conflict areas.”

As Connecting the Dots has reported over the past two weeks, the SEC already has suspended enforcement of a portion of the conflict minerals rule. (Click here to read more about that decision and how it will affect the industrial metals supply chain.)

The House Financial Services Committee will hold a hearing on the Financial Choice Act on Wednesday, April 26 and is expected to vote on it shortly after. The full House of Representatives could take up the legislation in May.