May 27, 2021
TO THE MEMBERS OF THE UNITED STATES SENATE:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce supports the manager’s amendment to S. 1260, the, “United States Innovation and Competition Act,” and we appreciate the open, bipartisan regular order process by which this legislation was developed.
For the United States to remain competitive internationally and tackle the challenges of future pandemics and jumpstart economic growth, the U.S. must maintain its leadership in technology. The United States Innovation and Competition Act represents a step toward achieving this goal by supporting research and development in key areas like autonomy, advanced communications, and artificial intelligence.
While the Chamber supports this bill, we hope that it will be improved as the legislative process continues. In particular, the Chamber urges eliminations of the County of Origin Labeling requirements, which would impose significant burdens, liability, and costs on American retailers and companies. We also have significant concerns with provisions related to Cyber Shield, copyright and information in the public domain. We look forward to working with the Senate and the House on these and other important issues and we will communicate specific recommendations presently.
The Chamber supports the inclusion of provisions renewing the Generalized System of Preferences, the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill, and other trade measures that will enhance the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers and directly benefit American workers and consumers. We applaud Sens. Crapo and Wyden for their leadership on this issue.
If offered, the Chamber strongly opposes an amendment by Sens. Sanders and Moran regarding employee participation in decisions at companies, and we believe there is a better method for addressing this issue. The amendment would conflict with existing law, specifically Section 8(a)(2) of the National Labor Relations Act, which makes it unlawful for an employer to “dominate or interfere with the formation or administration of any labor organization or contribute financial or other support to it.” The National Labor Relations Board has pursued charges against business that have sought to foster the type of employee participation that would be established by this amendment. There is a better path forward to for increasing employee engagement in concepts from legislation from the 104th Congress, S. 295, the Teamwork for Employees and Management Act. Additionally, to the extent that the amendment seeks to promote employee ownership, this legislation duplicates provisions of law related to Employee Stock Ownership Plans.
We believe the Senate has an important opportunity to pass pro-growth legislation that should not be squandered. We reserve the right to support or oppose other amendments as they are considered. The Chamber applauds the bipartisan efforts of Sens. Schumer and Young to assemble legislation that could be brought to the full Senate for consideration.
Neil L. Bradley