@RJ--thanks for the feedback! The longer this issue goes on, the more problems I see with the legislation. Here's a biggie that few people has asked: Why is the SEC involved with this in the first place? I understand this was part of a funding bill, but really, the SEC has a difficult time policing the securities business and has no business, or infrastructure, to deal with conflict minerals. A good first step would be to move the oversight to the EPA or another organization that has had experience with the kind of issues the Dodd-Frank Act seeks to address.
Seems industry want enough loopholes to make the legislation totally ineffective and think it is unfair that a democratic elected government can bring in laws it does not like. Maybe the US should have a third house where the representatives of the financial sector and industry can just veto laws it does not like when they are not too busy being bailed out by taxpayers.
They want the SEC to allow companies making a good faith but unsuccessful effort to trace the source of their conflict minerals to report their status as "indeterminate."
Would likely just lead to companies just going through the motions and everyone being unsuccessful in tracing anything. Maybe it could start a new trend though with a rash of new laws where everyone only has only to say they tried to comply so should be let off any penalty. Drunk driver..I tried not to run the guy down but I was seeing double so it was really difficult...
Companies want a "phase-in" period. Rule proposed in late 2010 you could say the phase in period has already been given! Another phase in period just looks like a effort to kick the whole thing into the long grass in the hopes that everyone will forget about it. Even if it was given what's the bet that near the end there would be more requests for the period to be extended again?
Companies also want an exemption for mined ore already at a smelter, and for minerals in products already in supplier inventories.
This would actually encourage some companies to stockpile dodgy supplies which is against the whole idea. Think some smelters know very well where their supplies come from which is why they are now sweating. The more industry helps with verification programmes the quicker those programmes can get to the quality needed. Giving industry more wiggle room just takes the pressure off to do so.
Allowing an exemption for recycled minerals. The intent of Congress was to regulate ore and metal made directly from minerals mined in the DRC and adjoining countries.
Unfortunately can see the old arms smuggling trick happening here, you know the one where crates labelled farm machinery are really boxes of AK47's. Would be very easy to false flag supplies and companies to set up false front recycling companies and other tricks to make it seem that the supplies were recycled. If companies were only making good faith efforts to trace it would be even easier.
..Well it said it was recycled supplies on the website..
Allowing a de minimis exception.
The minerals might only be very small part of what ever product they are used but if there are millions of the products being sold it adds up to a lot of supply. Have a de minimis level set high enough and the only people caught out are those supplying solid gold paper weights!
If companies are saying they cannot trace how much is used in their products how do they know what the amounts are anyway? Effectively they are saying is it all right if we can use conflict minerals in our products as long as we do not use much in each individual item. Well no as the whole idea is to reduce the amount of conflicts minerals used not supply outlets for it.
Think some companies are just frustrated that they have not managed to totally gut the rules yet. Maybe they should follow the example of other companies who are working with NGO's, the people of the DRC, and other interested parties to make the new rules work.
SEC is definitely in a tough position here to make a rule that can be easily understood and implemented by the product/component manufactures. This delay could be definitely good for companies those who do not have any idea about the minerals that are used by component suppliers. In anyways there will be a overhead cost for the component suppliers to provide the right orrigin of the minerals.
EBN Dialogue enables and encourages you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Not only editors and journalists, but the entire EBN community is able to comment and ask questions. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats.
Thailand Stages a Comeback Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Microsoft Surface: Potential Winners & Losers What are the implications for the electronics industry supply chain of Microsoft Corp.'s decision to launch its own tablet PC? Join industry veteran and EE Times' systems and OEM expert Rick Merritt on Tuesday, July 3, at 12:00 pm EDT for a Live Chat on this subject.
Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Peter Drucker famously said "Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Yet in the razor's-edge world of electronics—with a lean supply chain and just-in-time demands—the need to know the future is vital.
While no one really can accurately predict the future, we can take guidance from another Drucker saying which is the best way to predict the future is to create it.
You've heard the saying "the No. 1 supply chain risk is your people." That hasn't always been the case. But today's complex global supply chain requires a new type of multitalented employee. It's one who understands, finance, marketing, economics, is savvy with technology, graceful with relationships and can think analytically.
Where are these people? Are universities properly preparing the next generation supply chain professionals? How do train your existing workforce for these new, demanding positions?
Brian Fuller, editor-in-chief of EBN, will lead a 60-minute Avnet Velocity panel discussion that will ask and answer these and other questions swirling around today's supply-chain talent challenges.