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NBC's Rick Cotton Urges Senate Action on Customs and Trade Enforcement Legislation

Monday, October 19, 2009 - 8:00pm

Testifying for Chamber-Led IP Coalition, Cotton Urges 'Bold Steps' to Prevent Further Job Losses

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, NBC's Rick Cotton, Chairman of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce-led Coalition Against Counterfeiting and Piracy (CACP), praised the Customs Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2009 and urged the Senate to move forward with this legislation in his testimony before the Senate Finance Committee. Mr. Cotton discussed the importance of this legislation in bolstering IP enforcement resources and tools for the Department of Homeland Security through its Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agencies.

Excerpts from Mr. Cotton's testimony as submitted to the Senate Finance Committee are below.

"We vigorously applaud S.1631… as a critically important step in heralding a new era in the role of the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Bureau (ICE) in protecting the future economic well-being of the U.S. This bill recognizes that CBP must reshape itself as a bulwark to ensure that the innovation and creativity of U.S. industry are used to produce jobs here and is not stolen abroad — endangering our economy, killing our jobs, threatening our citizens' health and safety, and nourishing organized crime. We commend the Chair and Ranking Member and their able staff for crafting such a forward thinking bill, and offer some suggestions for its improvement.

"We must recognize IP theft for what it is: a stealth job killer stymieing progress on the road to economic recovery. If we fail to take bold steps now to attack this cancer at its roots, the U.S. will be committing slow-motion economic suicide. Equally important, we must establish our customs functions as a model for the rest of the world in protecting IP. We cannot call upon our trading partners to take extraordinary measures to protect intellectual property if we are not willing to give the customs agencies all the resources and statutory tools they need to enable them to safeguard our borders against infringement."

The Chamber's Global Intellectual Property Center is working around the world to champion intellectual property (IP) as vital to creating jobs, saving lives, advancing global economic growth, and generating breakthrough solutions to global challenges.

The U.S. Chamber is the world's largest business federation representing more than 3 million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region.

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