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U.S. Lawmakers Weigh Sanctions, Criminal Charges Against Chinese Companies Over Child Cobalt Mining in DR Congo

A bipartisan meeting of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China on Capitol Hill where lawmakers heard testimony about child labor in the DRC cobalt supply chain. Image via CECC.

U.S. legislators are proposing much stricter measures to counter China’s dominance of the cobalt supply chain, including sanctions that would restrict the import of any cobalt mined by Chinese companies in the DR Congo.

The proposed law by New Jersey Republican Chris Smith is also intended to pressure companies, particularly those from China, that buy cobalt from so-called artisanal mines where the use of child labor is pervasive.

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