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June 12, 2017

U.S. House Votes To Get Rid Of SEC Conflict Minerals Rule

In a victory for Metals Service Center Institute (MSCI) members, the U.S. House of Representatives voted last week to repeal the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) conflict minerals rule. MSCI has opposed this regulation since it was passed in 2010 as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform legislation. President and CEO M. Robert Weidner, III issued a statement outlining MSCI’s position after the House vote. Weidner said:

“The 2010 Dodd Frank bill contained a handful of provisions that had nothing to do with the Great Recession, or the financial meltdown. One of those was the SEC’s conflict minerals rule. As MSCI noted in a letter to the House Financial Services Committee (HFSC) last year, this rule imposed significant costs on the industrial metals supply chain and has done little to achieve its purpose to improve the lives of people living in conflict areas. U.S. House leaders were right to repeal it, and we are grateful to HFSC Chairman Hensarling for his work on this important legislation. MSCI now calls on the Senate to work quickly to pass a financial reform bill that repeals the conflict minerals rule. Regulations are necessary to ensure consumer and worker well-being, but rules that raise costs without enhancing prosperity or safety are wrong. It’s time for the Senate to get conflict minerals repeal to the president’s desk.”

The conflict minerals rule repeal was passed on a 233-186 vote as part of a broader financial reform bill, H.R. 10, the Financial CHOICE Act. In order to secure full repeal of this complex and costly regulation, the U.S. Senate will have to pass its own version of H.R. 10 before it can go to President Donald Trump’s desk to be signed. 

According to the American Action Forum, the conflict minerals regulation required more than 2.2 million paperwork hours to comply with and cost various industries $609 million. 

As a reminder, the SEC already has suspended enforcement of portions of the conflict minerals regulation. MSCI members can click here to determine how that action might affect their company.