❝ Apple doesn’t want to see it scrapped. Neither does Intel or Tiffany & Co.
But the U.S. conflict-minerals law — which requires American public companies to avoid using minerals that fund war and human rights abuses in the Congo region — is widely seen today as facing its most serious threat since its passage in 2010.
❝ The White House is considering a suspension of the law, part of U.S. President Donald Trump’s pledge to cut government regulations and a long-held goal of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. If that does not happen, congressional Republicans are expected to try defunding it, which they attempted last year. At the same time, federal regulators recently announced that they plan to “reconsider” the law’s scope. The acting head of the Securities and Exchange Commission, the agency that oversees the regulation, called it “a misguided rule.”
❝ …Several major companies say they will not abandon the standard even if the law is gutted.
While corporations normally cheer in unison when regulations are cut, this controversial rule has prompted a different reaction.
That is because something interesting has happened since the law took effect: Companies say the conflict-minerals law has created an expectation both inside their corporate headquarters and among consumers that their products will be “conflict-free.”
They do not want to back away from that now. But they worry their efforts will be undermined without the law to support them.
❝ “We do this because it’s the right thing to do,” Apple said in a statement about its conflict-minerals compliance. The tech giant said it plans to keep those protections “regardless of whether or not the law requires it.” Apple said it is pleading its case behind the scenes to White House and SEC officials.
Intel said it, too, was committed to “responsible sourcing of minerals” regardless of regulatory changes…
Richline, a major jewelry company, said it would remain committed to the standard “because the cause is worthy of these efforts.” Richline added that it was against “weakening or repealing a process that has already been set in motion and is just beginning to affect meaningful change.”
Not that Trump, his neo-con Republican bubbas, ever cared about how much blood is spilled to promote their profit margins. The useful part of all this is that a number of taste-making American companies have realized they benefit from aligning themselves with humane goals.
Now, let’s see if we can drag the pimps of profiteering back into reasonable behavior.