Economic controls hurt legitimate & illegitimate business alike, the root cause needs to be resolved
The laws put in place in the US and the EU to address conflict resources do not work. Full transparency is hard to gain or maintain, while the rest of the world seemingly has no problem trading in conflict resources or refining them, making the whole process even harder to accurately trace. The root of the conflict needs to be addressed, rather than trying to avoid one means of support of said conflict.
A blanket reduction of trade with countries such as the DRC also harms legitimate mining practices, further hurting the livelihood of legal mining companies, their employees and legitimate exporters. Simply reducing the amount of resources utilised that come from the Congo will also hurt the DRC’s economy, and further complicate the poverty, violence and lack of human rights in the country. Policies such as the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer `Protection Act fall short of addressing the problem of the conflict in a similar way that sanctions can exacerbate instabilities in a sanctioned country.
It is impossible to not use a resource because of a conflict associated with it, as the complex nature of international trade makes isolating resources almost impossible. Quite often the presence of individuals willing to disregard the background of their trading partners, and their possible willingness to engage in corruption, make realistically tracking a supply chain impossible. Moreover abstaining from trading a conflict resource doesn't deal with the existence of the resource itself, which in reality will inevitably find a buyer.
Therefore a diplomatic or military solution to resolve the conflict around which the resource was mined would be a much better solution. This would ultimately result in the removal of the resource in question from corrupt hands completely. Preventing the trade completely will just have the effect of further increasing poverty in resource mining areas, it by no means solves the problem that forms the foundations of the conflict. Taking the conflict out of conflict resources is the only realistic solution to this problem and could go some way to rebuilding of a countries such as the DRC.