Conflict Mineral Controversy

Conflict Mineral Controversy
Attempts by Donald Trump suspend the law against the use of conflict minerals poses a global threat to the spread of terrorism. Attempts by Donald Trump suspend the law against the use of conflict minerals poses a global threat to the spread of terrorism. The mineral rich country has lost control of its mines to rebel..

Attempts by Donald Trump suspend the law against the use of conflict minerals poses a global threat to the spread of terrorism.

Background

Attempts by Donald Trump suspend the law against the use of conflict minerals poses a global threat to the spread of terrorism.

The mineral rich country has lost control of its mines to rebel groups, various armies and outside parties that use the profits to fund the war and human rights violations in the eastern part.

The most commonly extracted minerals from this region are cassiterite (for tin), wolframite (for tungsten), coltan (for tantalum), and gold ore. These minerals are key components in electronic, jewelry, and aerospace industries. Thus they are in high demand.

In 2010 the United States passed a law to restrict the trade of these “conflict minerals.” The ‘Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act’ required all manufactures to audit their supply chains and ensure that they only imported and used conflict-free minerals.

However, Trump’s intentions to cut government regulations threatens to affect this law, and Congressional republicans have been backing his intentions to defund it for the past year as well. This law is now facing its most serious threat since its enforcement in 2010.

Analysis

The National Association of Manufacturers claim that the repercussions of this law have caused the American economy a loss of US $9- $16 billion. Although major companies like Apple, Intel and Tiffany & Co have gone on record to guarantee their intentions of complying with this law nonetheless, they acknowledge that the legal changes will affect their decisions. While their aim is to avoid using conflict minerals, the market might force them to start in order to maintain their competitive position.

This would mean that the rebel groups’ terrorist activities would continue to be funded. And America would not be a “peace-keeper” but rather a conflict perpetuator in this matter.          

Assessment

The American economy would profit monetarily without this law. It would mean cheaper costs of importing minerals with less background checks and supply roadblocks. However, the cost would not necessarily amount in billions. Elm industries reported to the Securities and Exchange Commissions (SEC) that the cost was in fact much lower at US $800 million. Trump’s campaign has clearly indicated that his priorities lie in reducing red tapes and benefiting industry owners. Allocating resources to conflict zones in Africa does not seem to be a high priority for him. Thus this law being in place could be seen as an early stage ‘financial pay-off’ by American industries. It would avoid greater resources and finances being apportioned by the government in the future to rectify their involvement in the conflict. Not only does this law have a humanitarian benefit, it is a calculated shield against the long term financial and political burden America could ensue. 

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