From Rep. Don Manzullo (R., 16th District)…
[WASHINGTON] – Congressman Don Manzullo (R-IL), co-Chair of the House Manufacturing Caucus, today said a proposed new reporting mandate designed to sanction the use of conflict minerals will cost U.S. manufacturers billions of dollars, and he urged the Administration to rewrite the rule and provide more flexibility in its implementation.
Manzullo, a senior member of both the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the Financial Services Committee, said he agrees with the goal of shutting down the mineral trade that is bankrolling the murderous militias in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. But the onerous reporting mandates heaped on American manufacturers and their suppliers in an attempt to curtail the use of gold, tantalum, tin or tungsten originating from the DRC are too burdensome and could cost U.S. industry up to $16 billion to implement, according to the National Association of Manufacturers.
“We all share the same goal of ending the conflict in the eastern region of the DRC and crippling the militias. We all share the goal of the legislation to end the trade in the minerals that benefit the militias,” Manzullo said during a hearing Thursday of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on International Monetary Policy and Trade. “The key is how to do it in the most effective manner possible. We also must make sure that the rule does not unintentionally benefit our foreign competitors, particularly in China, and harm our small businesses.”
Manzullo, former Chairman of the House Committee on Small Business, added that the Security & Exchange Commission’s (SEC) rulemaking procedure also did not accurately account for the impact on small business, as required by law. If the Administration does not proceed with a new Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA), it could face significant legal challenges from the small business community, he said.
“With a more accurate IRFA, the SEC would be able to consider less burdensome alternatives to the proposed rule. But if the SEC does not follow this advice, then affected small businesses in a wide range of industries would be able to come together to challenge this rule in federal court and would most likely prevail,” Manzullo said.