SEC Approves Conflict Minerals Rule, Adding to Manufacturers Regulatory Burden

By August 22, 2012Trade

This morning the SEC voted on the final rule to implement Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act, which deals with conflict minerals from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and adjoining countries. 

Manufacturers support the underlying goal of Section 1502, to address the problems occurring in the DRC and adjoining countries, and we have long advocated for a reasonable rule that actually achieves that objective.

While the text of the rule has not yet been released, the SEC did release a fact sheet this morning. However. serious concerns remain about the impact that this rule will have on manufacturers. 

For starters, even the SEC estimates that this rule could cost industry $3-4 billion in initial costs, and roughly $200-600 million annually thereafter.  As we continue to review the details of this rule, we will be focused on assessing the impact that it will have on manufacturers and their ability to compete globally. We will also be focusing on how this rule will impact the tens of thousands of small and medium manufacturers that make up complex supply chains.  

Just yesterday MAPI released a study showing the growing number of regulations facing manufacturers each year. Our concern remains that this rule is just another in a long line of regulations that will slow growth and negatively impact competitiveness.

Jessica Lemos is director of international trade policy, National Association of Manufacturers.

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