Conflict Materials Ban and Electronics Supply Chain Impact

A Wall Street Journal article (April 27,2011) describes the impact of the portion of Dodd-Frank law that requires companies to inform the SEC if any if their sources of tantalum, tin, tungsten and gold are from the conflict regions in the Congo or neighboring countries.  The articles describes the associated tracking problem for AT&T’s cell phones as requiring tracking of “35 manufacturers, 60 to 80 parts suppliers and 1000 commodity suppliers, brokers and distributors”.   But the best way to avoid this issue is to drop all sources in the Congo, which hurts the country as a whole.  Will the Dodd-Frank bill and its consequent supply chain costs enable the goal to decrease funding for warlords ? Should there be industry wide standards that are enforced to lower the costs to comply with such laws ? Or could certification of being “conflict materials free” and its demand side effects be an alternate strategy ?

About aviyer2010

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