Conflict Minerals Legislation: The SEC’s New Role as Diplomatic and Humanitarian Watchdog Sneaky Stuff

Congolese activists and others have continually asserted that this regulation will lead, and has already led, to an embargo of Congolese minerals, a drastic cost that would outweigh any purported benefits of the regulation.186 Indeed, with major American corporations shying away from using Congolese minerals, certain mines in Congo have suspended operations, forcing many Congolese out of work. By mid-2011, exports of tin, tantalum, and tungsten from the DRC had fallen by 70 percent since the previous summer, a phenomenon that the local miners refer to as “Obama’s embargo.”

186. See, e.g., David Aronson, How Congress Devastated Congo, N.Y. TIMES, August 8, 2011, at A19; see also Hans Bader, Thousands of Jobs and Billions in Wealth Wiped Out by Dodd-Frank Conflict Minerals Provision, OPEN MARKET (July 27, 2011),