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U.S. Enacts Law to Quell Sale of “Conflict Minerals” to Electronics Companies

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by Invisible, Jul 25, 2010.

  1. Invisible

    Invisible Admin Staff Member

    Jul 25, 2010
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    Written by Brenna Ehrlich
    July 25, 2010

    Back in June, Steve Jobs asserted in an e-mail statement that Apple requires its suppliers to certify in writing that they use conflict mineral-free materials.

    Now, the U.S. government has gotten into the game full-tilt, enacting a new law that requires companies to state whether or not their goods contain minerals from the mines of the war-torn Congo and surrounding areas.

    Although experts disagree as to why fighting in the Congo continues to rage on — some blame the mines and the minerals that come from them, others land rights and other factors — the law hopes to quell violence in the area by divesting rebels of the money the mineral business generates. The government hopes that without cash, the rebels will be weakened enough to stop fighting — according to the AP, these mines “fund rebel groups, homegrown militias and rogue elements of the Congolese army.”


    Some companies, like HP, have already come out in support of the new law. Michael J. Holston, executive vice president and general counsel, said today in a statement: “We believe this provision will help provide much-needed transparency in companies’ supply chains, reduce the purchase and use of conflict minerals known to fund the ongoing armed conflict in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and thus help reduce some of the factors that have contributed to the civil war there.”

    Basically, the law — which is a part of President Obama’s Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act — would require companies to report each year whether or not their products contain any conflict minerals: tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold. If a company finds that it has used one of the minerals, it must then have an audit done to determine which mine said mineral came from. If a company finds that it has managed to avoid using conflict minerals, it may then label its products conflict mineral-free.

    Still, a lot of experts aren’t too thrilled with the law — poor Congolese people could be hit hard by the effects of the legislation, which could deprive them of their income. Also, some think that companies will avoid buying goods from the region wholesale — even if they are conflict-free — instead taking their business elsewhere.

    What do you think of this new law? Do you think it will make an impact, or do more harm than good?

    [img credit: AlishaV]
  2. Ruge Opinion

    Ruge Opinion JF-Expert Member

    Jul 26, 2010
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    Usanii mwingine huu. Hayo madini nani atakwenda kwenye mapori/misitu ya Congo kuyawekea mihuri? Kuna nchi kama Rwanda wanachukua madini kimagendo kutoka DRC na kuyauza kama vile ni ya Rwanda lakini hawana migodi ya madini hayo. Ni makampuni ya kimarekani, kichina na nchi zingine yanayonunua hayo madini pamoja na kujua kuwa yanatoka Congo. Hivi kweli hawa watasimamisha shughuli zao hizo kwa sababu ya kuwahurumia waCongo? Sidhani. Mbona mafuta ya Sudan hawajayawekea vikwazo?
  3. Bantugbro

    Bantugbro JF-Expert Member

    Jul 26, 2010
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    If we Africans really care about what is happening in Congo then our African governments should stop purchasing computers and accessories (i.e., printers, projectors) from companies like HP, Acer and Apple. Civilians too should stop buying iPhones, Nokias, Samsungs and the likes...:nono: