February 13, 2017

Trump Administration Considering Two-Year Suspension Of Conflict Minerals Rule

Several news outlets reported last week that the Trump administration is considering an executive order that would contain a two-year suspension of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) conflict minerals regulation. The order reportedly also would direct the U.S. secretaries of State and Treasury to develop plans to address the underlying human rights violations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and adjoining areas. 

According to reporters from The Wall Street Journal, who have reviewed a draft, the executive order argues that “the disclosure regime required by the rule ‘was intended to address a humanitarian crisis in the region,’ but instead ‘mounting evidence’ shows it ‘caused harm to some parties’ in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and it ‘contributed to instability in the region’ and ‘threatened the national security interest of the United States.’” 

As a reminder, this news follows the recent announcement by SEC Acting Chairman Michael S. Piwowar directing Commission staff to fully reconsider this regulation. Piwowar also invited the public to comment on the efficacy of the conflict minerals rule. The Metals Service Center Institute strongly opposes the SEC’s rule and urges its members to contact either the SEC or MSCI to register their comments. The general public can submit comments directly to the SEC using this link until Thursday, March 16.