The Trump administration has prepared a draft Executive Order that will suspend the requirement that US firms need to carry out due diligence to ensure that the products they sell do not contain conflict minerals, including gold, from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
In what reads like a story from the farcical newspaper The Onion, the draft claims the obligation to prove that no conflict minerals are in a company’s supply stream “caused harm to some parties in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.” (Who? Congolese warlords profiting from the sale of conflict minerals?)
We have worked with both Democrats and Republicans on a variety of human rights issues. In over two decades of these efforts we have found that, when it comes to human rights concerns, both sides of the aisle have traditionally found common ground and a shared willingness to take a stand. We are at a loss to understand how the White House can justify this proposed action that, if signed by the President, would undercut a powerful tool to help the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo and undermine efforts to end the trade in conflict minerals.