‘Conflict’ Bills May See Compromise

The industry and Rep. Tony Hall (D-Ohio) are negotiating a compromise between the two conflict diamond bills currently pending. "We are cautiously optimistic [that] we will come to an agreement," said World Diamond Council legislative director Matthew A. Runci, at a forum at the recent JCK Show in Las Vegas. "The signs are encouraging at the moment. Getting this done as soon as possible is in the industry's interest." Having all sides agree—including the industry and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs)—is considered crucial to passing legislation. Runci said the two sides, which have been at odds for most of the spring, are talking again because "this is the mid-point in the legislative year, and this is the time to get things done." At press time, the opponents were officially backing different bills. The industry had thrown its weight behind the "Conflict Diamonds Act of 2

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