Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley signed into law this month the Maryland State Procurement and Congo Conflict Minerals Bill, making Maryland the second state to pass such legislation. The measure, passed with the help of the Enough Project, has received little publicity.
The law, patterned after Section 1502 of the federal Dodd-Frank conflict minerals legislation, may not be garnering that much enthusiasm because Sec. 1502 itself is on the ropes.
A House of Representatives hearing scheduled for today, May 10, may be the beginning of the end for the law, as industry forces and their allies seem to be uniting against it. Note the title of the hearing today in The International Monetary Policy and Trade Subcommittee of The House Financial Services Committee: “The Costs and Consequences of Dodd- Frank Section 1502: Impacts on America and the Congo”
This doesn’t bode well for Section 1502 or the new Maryland law.
Congo Peace supported the passage of the Maryland law and enforcement of Section 1502. Here’s why: Conflict mineral laws at least create a public dialogue on how the riches of the Congo are extracted and call for accountability up and down the supply chain. How else will American consumers see the connection between their electronics products and the violence surrounding their extraction in the Congo?