[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'').
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