Header graphic for print
Federal Securities Law Blog Information on federal securities laws, news and developments

Lawsuit Challenges SEC Rules on Conflict Minerals

Posted in Dodd-Frank Act, SEC News

On October 22, 2012, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Manufacturers Association, and the Business Roundtable filed a lawsuit in the United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit seeking to modify or eliminate the Securities and Exchange Commission’s ("SEC") final rules governing conflict minerals. The SEC adopted the final rules on conflict minerals on August 22, 2012 pursuant to Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act ("Dodd-Frank") requiring companies to publicly disclose their use of conflict minerals that originated in the Democratic Republic of the Congo ("DRC") or an adjoining country. See SEC Adopts Final Rules for Disclosing Use of Conflict Minerals (posted August 24, 2012). The lawsuit did not contain any legal arguments or explanations for the requested modification.

In a joint statement, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Manufacturers Association stated, “[t]he final conflict mineral rule imposes an unworkable, overly broad and burdensome system that will undermine jobs and growth and may not achieve Congress’s overall objectives.” According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, the SEC estimated that approximately U.S. and foreign companies would have to comply with the conflict-minerals rules with an upfront cost of $3 to $4 billion dollars and an additional $200 million annually.