Changes to the disclosure of conflict minerals are among the many issues contributing to a “rocky” outlook for global risk, according to consultancy Verisk Maplecroft.
Its Geopolitical Risk Outlook, released recently warned US president Donald Trump’s unpredictability in foreign policy was “a major geopolitical wildcard”.
It said the elections in France and South Korea would delay the most immediate threats to global stability.
However, other risks included tighter monetary policy by the Federal Reserve increasing political risk in emerging markets, Russia likely to test US resolve “sooner rather than later” and the collateral damage of possible changes to conflict minerals disclosures.
Politics analyst Anaïs De Meulder noted a leaked White House memo outlining Trump’s proposal to suspend section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act, relieving companies from disclosing their use of conflict minerals – tantalum, tungsten, tin and gold – for two years.
“The decision could further destabilise one of the most volatile countries in Africa and expose consumer-facing companies to greater public scrutiny over their corporate social responsibility obligations,” she wrote.
Further, businesses headquartered in the EU would be subject to European conflict mineral regulations – scheduled to be signed in May 2017 and due to take effect by January 2021, she added.
The report said Trump’s ad-hoc approach contrasted sharply with his predecessor’s cautious politicking.
“Predictability in foreign affairs may not always be a virtue, but Trump’s lack of it will continue to trigger spikes in geopolitical tensions during his presidency,” the report said.
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