The National Association of Manufacturers, U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Business Roundtable have challenged a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rule known as the conflict minerals rule. Nat’l Ass’n of Mfrs. v. SEC, No. 12-1422 (D.C. Cir. filed 10/22/12). The rule, adopted by a divided SEC August 22, 2012, imposes disclosure requirements on issuers that use tantalum, tin, gold, or tungsten from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and surrounding areas. The rulemaking was mandated by section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which Congress enacted “because of concerns that the exploitation and trade of conflict minerals by armed groups [was] helping to finance conflict in the DRC region and [was] contributing to an emergency humanitarian crisis,” according to the SEC.
The SEC is also defending an industry challenge of another Dodd-Frankimposed rule that requires resource-extraction issuers to disclose in annual reports, payments made to governments to further the commercial development of oil, natural gas or minerals.