Now that the U.S. District Court for D.C. has upheld the Conflict Minerals rules in late July, home builders have to decide whether they are “manufacturers” who are subject to these rules.
As you may recall, the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts requested SEC guidance that real estate development does not constitute “manufacturing” for purposes of the Conflict Minerals rules. Unfortunately, the SEC refused to oblige, so the question remains an open issue.
Most real estate development and construction companies take the position that they are not manufacturers based on standard dictionary definitions and common sense. Should the industry issue a white paper on its position to force the SEC to take a position or, by not taking a position, impliedly agree with the industry’s position?