In the article, Bates reports one attendee as saying, "[The Government] wants to know where every part of a piece is sourced. . . Not just the diamond or gem, but the gold, everything."
Supply chain transparency is an important objective for the jewelry industry, so the notion of greater pressure to achieve it isn't a bad thing! The Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference has been saying for some time now that the industry must embrace transparency and get out ahead of this issue. This is not a future issue for the industry - the demand for transparency is happening right now.
But a dramatic government crackdown could create tremendous business losses for an industry that is already struggling in many sectors. It is critical that the industry works fast and collaboratively to embrace responsible supply chain practices now; both because it is the right thing to do, and because the social and government pressure to do so will force our policies if we don't embrace transparent behavior on our own. Government-supplied policies are not likely to be the right policies or the best policies. Let's do a good job of policing ourselves, and create a better industry in the process.