‘Conflict’ Battle Brews in Congress

The battle over conflict diamonds has moved to Congress. The industry and Rep. Tony Hall (D-Ohio) are backing rival "conflict" bills, although the chance of either passing appeared bleak at press time. "All the indications we are getting is that the House Ways and Means Committee does not seem interested in any conflict diamond legislation," says Matt Runci, legislative director of the World Diamond Council. "Its not on their priority list." Even so, the prospect of dueling bills again puts the industry at odds with Hall and his allies at the nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that are waging a campaign to drum up support for the Hall bill (see "An Open Letter to Nongovernmental Organizations," p. 144). Hall's Clean Diamond Act was introduced in March and has been endorsed by 105 House members. Like the industry's proposal, it allows diamond imports only from countries that have impl
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