Congressman Howard L. Berman, the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, made the following statement in response to the Securities and Exchange Commission's vote today to approve conflict minerals regulations:
"The SEC's vote today to approve rules on conflict minerals is a long awaited and important step," said Rep. Berman. "However, I am disappointed that the rules give companies anywhere from two to four additional years to disclose the steps they are taking to ensure they are not financing the ongoing violence in the Congo. Such a delay will prolong the suffering of the Congolese people and allow the continued financing of violence from the extraction of valuable minerals in that war weary country."
Under the new regulations, companies will be required to disclose whether the use of conflict minerals--gold, tin, tungsten, or tantalum sourced from eastern Congo or its neighboring countries--were used in the manufacturing of their product.
These regulations were required under Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act. Rep. Berman, who was Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee when Dodd-Frank was passed and signed into law, was integral in including conflict mineral language into the broader financial reform legislation.
Over the past two years, Rep. Berman has been a relentless advocate for implementing strong rules. In June, he was joined by 57 colleagues in sending a letter to SEC Chairman Schapiro asking her to schedule a vote on the conflict mineral regulations.