Release Date: Jul 28, 2010Contact: 888-249-NEWS
U.S. Chamber Expresses Strong Opposition to Shareholder Protection Act
Says it Leaves U.S. Corporations at a Competitive Disadvantage
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Chamber of Commerce yesterday sent a letter to the House of Representatives expressing strong opposition to H.R. 4790, the so-called “Shareholder Protection Act of 2010,” citing the onerous burdens placed on corporate directors who have been empowered to carry out good faith business decisions. The bill would result in a U.S. corporate structure that is at a competitive disadvantage in the worldwide arena, hurting everyone from shareholders to workers on the assembly line.
“This bill dangerously exposes corporate directors to outside influencers and could put companies at the mercy of special interests,” said Thomas Quaadman, vice president of the Chamber’s Center for Capital Markets. “Experience and access to information leaves corporate directors best equipped and able to make the complex day-to-day decisions. We should not straddle them with constant and unwarranted second-guessing from outside forces.”
The bill, which will amend the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, would require shareholder authorization before a public company can make certain political expenditures. The Chamber’s letter asserts that this extra layer of shareholder authorization will hinder, through increased regulatory hurdles, a company’s ability to exercise its constitutional right to free speech.
“Corporate political spending should remain exclusively in the hands of its directors,” said Quaadman. “At the most basic level, this bill aims to make it more difficult for corporations to exercise their constitutionally protected right to free speech.”
Since its inception three years ago, the Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness has led a bipartisan effort to modernize and strengthen the outmoded regulatory systems that have governed our capital markets. The CCMC is committed to working aggressively with the administration, Congress, and global leaders to implement reforms to strengthen the economy, restore investor confidence, and ensure well-functioning capital markets.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.
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