JA Urges Industry to Wait for “Better Bill”

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(Rapaport…April 17, 2001) Jewelers of America (JA) has issued a statement in response to the efforts of U.S. nongovernmental organizations (NGO) requesting that American diamond importers, retailers and executives ask their representatives and senators to endorse The Clean Diamonds Act (HR 918), pending U.S. legislation that will restrict the imports of conflict diamonds. Congressman Tony P. Hall, D-Ohio, and 80 other members of congress introduced the Clean Diamonds Act on March 7.

The JA statement noted that “While Congressman Hall and our industry agree that conflict diamonds must be eliminated and that passage of legislation is critical to that goal, we disagree on some important provisions of that legislation.” The statement also noted that Hall refused to consider the industry-supported proposal.

JA asks that members wait until a bill it “endorses enthusiastically” is introduced when Congress reconvenes on April 23. “We believe that our approach will be more effective and more compatible with the industry’s needs.” In the meantime, JA asks that jewelers refrain from participating in any of the campaign activities being initiated by the NGOs.

The statement concludes that “JA deplores the trade in conflict diamonds and supports meaningful efforts to eliminate conflict diamonds from the legitimate trade, but Hall’s Clean Diamonds Act will unnecessarily harm the industry. A better solution is on the way.”

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