H.R.2954 - To prohibit the importation into the United States of colombo tantalite from certain countries involved in the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and for other purposes.107th Congress (2001-2002)
|Sponsor:||Rep. McKinney, Cynthia A. [D-GA-4] (Introduced 09/25/2001)|
|Committees:||House - Ways and Means; International Relations|
|Latest Action:||House - 09/26/2001 Referred to the Subcommittee on Trade. (All Actions)|
This bill has the status Introduced
Here are the steps for Status of Legislation:
Text: H.R.2954 — 107th Congress (2001-2002)All Information (Except Text)
There is one version of the bill.
Text available as:
- PDF (PDF provides a complete and accurate display of this text.) Tip?
Introduced in House (09/25/2001)
[Congressional Bills 107th Congress] [From the U.S. Government Printing Office] [H.R. 2954 Introduced in House (IH)] 107th CONGRESS 1st Session H. R. 2954 To prohibit the importation into the United States of colombo tantalite from certain countries involved in the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and for other purposes. _______________________________________________________________________ IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES September 25, 2001 Ms. McKinney introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means, and in addition to the Committee on International Relations, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned _______________________________________________________________________ A BILL To prohibit the importation into the United States of colombo tantalite from certain countries involved in the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and for other purposes. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. FINDINGS. Congress finds the following: (1) A war has been ongoing in the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (in this section referred to as the ``DRC''), with reports that as many as 2,500,000 people have died as a result of the conflict. (2) The war is a result of the August 1998 invasion of the DRC by Rwanda, Uganda, and Burundi. (3) After the invasion, additional loss of life and misery were caused to the people of the DRC when, on occasion, the forces of Uganda and Rwanda fought against each other. (4) A staff member of the United Nations was murdered while visiting the region for the purpose of studying the damage done to the DRC by Uganda and Rwanda. (5) Human rights abuses stemming from this conflict include child and forced labor, mass displacement causing large refugee populations, rape, conscription, arbitrary detention, torture, and bans on political expression and freedom of speech. (6) A recent United Nations report, entitled ``Report of the Panel of Experts on the Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources and Other Forms of Wealth of the Democratic Republic of Congo'', found that ``Illegal exploitation of the mineral and forest resources of the Democratic Republic of the Congo is taking place at an alarming rate.''. (7) The United Nations report states that resources being looted from the DRC include diamonds, gold, timber, cobalt, coltan (colombo tantalite), coffee, ivory, other minerals, and exotic animals. (8) The United Nations report, in addition to numerous press and eyewitness reports, cites the use, by Rwandans and Rwandan-supported rebels, of slave and prison labor in the mining and extraction of coltan, diamonds, and other minerals. (9) According to the World Conservation Union, ``coltan mining is taking place in [two] World Heritage sites'' in the DRC, Kahuzi-Biega National Park and Okapi Wildlife Reserve, in contravention of DRC protective restrictions. The World Conservation Union further states that ``over 10,000 miners have moved into the Parks and are largely relying on meat from wild animals (bushmeat) for food'', including the endangered eastern lowland gorilla. (10) According to the United States Geological Survey 1999 Minerals Yearbook, 3 of the top 6 nations from which the United States imports unrefined tantalum--a component of coltan--are the DRC, Rwanda, and Uganda, providing for nearly $4,000,000 in revenue to those nations in 1999, and totaling imports of 164 metric tons. (11) As miners have pushed into the forests of the DRC in pursuit of coltan, gold, and other minerals, increased logging has resulted on account of greater access to forest resources and rare woods and has reduced the opportunity for oversight of illegal activities. (12) The United Nations Report of the Panel of Experts found that one result of the illegal exploitation of the DRC was a ``massive availability of financial resources for the Rwandan Patriotic Army, and the individual enrichment of top Ugandan military commanders and civilians'', thereby not only allowing the infiltrating nations to continue their armed incursions, but also providing substantial motivation to pursue such conflict. (13) The United Nations Panel concluded that ``tough measures must be taken to bring an end to the cycle of exploitation of the natural resources and the continuation of the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo'', including sanctions against the countries involved in the illegal activities, preventive measures to avoid a recurrence of the situation, and an improvement of international mechanisms and regulations governing some natural resources. (14) Some United States corporations that process and use tantalum for manufacture, including Kemet of Greenville, South Carolina, and Cabot Corporation of Boston, Massachusetts, have asked tantalum suppliers to certify that the mineral does not originate in the Congo region; if they do not, the corporations have said that they will not buy any tantalum from the region. SEC. 2. PROHIBITION ON IMPORTATION OF COLOMBO TANTALITE AND TANTALUM. (a) Colombo Tantalite From Certain Countries.--Colombo tantalite (``coltan'') that is the product of Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, or the Democratic Republic of the Congo may not be imported into the United States. (b) Tantalum, Tantalum Ore, and Tantalum Powder.--Tantalum, tantalum ore, and tantalum powder may not be imported into the United States unless the importer can demonstrate to the Customs Service that the tantalum, tantalum ore, or tantalum powder (as the case may be) is not produced from colombo tantalite that is a product of a country listed in subsection (a). SEC. 3. PROHIBITION ON PURCHASE OVERSEAS OF COLOMBO TANTALITE AND TANTALUM. (a) Prohibition.--No United States person may purchase outside the United States colombo tantalite, tantalum, tantalum ore, or tantalum powder that is a product of a country listed in section 2(a). (b) Civil Penalty.--The Secretary of the Treasury may impose a civil penalty of not more than $100,000 on any United States person who knowingly violates subsection (a). (c) Definition.--In this section, the term ``United States person'' means-- (1) a United States citizen or alien admitted for permanent residence into the United States; (2) a partnership, corporation, or other legal entity organized under the laws of the United States; and (3) a partnership, corporation, or other legal entity that is organized under the laws of a foreign country and is controlled by entities described in paragraph (2) or United States citizens, or both. SEC. 4. PREVENTION OF TRANSSHIPMENT. The Commissioner of Customs, in consultation with the heads of appropriate departments and agencies, shall, to the extent possible, determine the origins of all colombo tantalite, tantalum, tantalum ore, and tantalum powder in order to prevent the transshipment of colombo tantalite, tantalum, tantalum ore, and tantalum powder that is a product of a country listed in section 2(a) through another country for the purpose of evading the prohibition contained in section 2(a). SEC. 5. TERMINATION OF PROHIBITIONS. The prohibitions contained in sections 2 and 3(a) shall cease to be effective with respect to a country listed in section 2(a) on the date on which the President certifies to the Congress that the country has withdrawn from the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and that country is abiding by the Ceasefire Agreement of July 10, 1999 (known as the ``Lusaka Accord''). <all>