Retailers escape conflict mineral disclosure rule

SEC rules that retailers that don’t control manufacturing don’t have to comply with the Dodd-Frank rule

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act includes a rule that requires companies to disclose whether their products include minerals such as tungsten, tin, gold and tantalum, known as “conflict minerals” because of the violence they are accused of causing in Africa. In the finalized version of the rule, voted on by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Wednesday, it looks like retailers have escaped having to comply.

In the first version of the rule, retailers such as Target and Wal-Mart that sell goods produced by outside contractors would have been subject to the requirement. In the final vote, however, the SEC ruled 3-2 that such retailers are exempt, if they don’t have any control over the manufacture of products sold under their brand name.

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