June 21, 2013 – June 28, 2013

The summaries provided in this Weekly Recap do not necessarily represent the views of Squire Sanders (US) LLP and should not be deemed to be endorsements of them. The Recap is intended to be a compilation of articles and events to encourage discussion within the conflict minerals community and to keep our readers updated on the most recent developments.

Harley-Davidson Inc.: Conflict Minerals Policy

Harley-Davidson Inc., an American motorcycle manufacturer, recently issued a statement on conflict minerals. Excerpts from the statement follow. “Harley-Davidson is committed to supporting responsible sourcing of its materials from suppliers that share our values around human rights and environmental responsibility. To further this objective, we are committed to complying with the requirements set forth in the final rule regarding the use of ‘Conflict Minerals’ under Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. In order to support a conflict-free supply chain and comply with the applicable rules and regulations, Harley-Davidson commits to [among other things]: identify the presence of Conflict Minerals in our supply chain that are or may be necessary to the functionality of our products, require all of our suppliers to adhere to the H-D Supplier Code of Conduct, which includes the responsible sourcing of materials and educate our suppliers with respect to the SEC reporting requirements related to Conflict Minerals.”

Press Release: Protomatic Refuses to Purchase Materials from DRC and Surrounding Countries

Protomatic, a prototype machining facility located in southeastern Michigan, recently issued a press release stating that it will not purchase materials from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) or surrounding areas.

“Protomatic has recently become aware of potential problems associated with Conflict Minerals in the supply chain and would like you to know how we approach this issue.  While no specific issues exist with our current suppliers, some or our customers have asked us to ensure that none will exist in the future. To address this concern, Protomatic requires that all suppliers identify the “country of origin” for the minerals used during the processing of specific parts. For example, if your part requires a tin coating, we will ensure that the source of the tin is not one of the aforementioned DRC or nearby countries.”

Earlier this year, we highlighted in a separate blog post the unintended consequences of the conflict minerals rule. In addition, we recently blogged about the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services’ hearing titled “The Unintended Consequences of Dodd-Frank’s Conflict Minerals Provision“. In both posts, we discussed how companies are refraining from purchasing materials from the DRC and surrounding areas to prevent costly compliance with the rule.

We invite our readers to comment below on whether an embargo of the DRC and surrounding areas is an appropriate conflict minerals policy.

Nintendo Receives Approximately 500k Signatures in Advance of its Annual Shareholder Meeting

As highlighted in last week’s conflict minerals rule weekly recap, anti-slavery activists from Walk Free planned on submitting hundreds of thousands of signatures protesting Nintendo’s use of conflict minerals in its consoles and video game accessories.

On June 26th, a day before Nintendo’s annual shareholder meeting, Walk Free delivered a letter signed by approximately 500 thousand people “demanding that the company get the ‘blood’ off its products.”

Nintendo released the following response: “We at Nintendo take our social responsibilities as a global company very seriously and expect our production partners to do the same. Nintendo bans the use of conflict minerals and we continue to work with our suppliers to ensure our ban is upheld.”