(CREDIT: Senate Democrats/Flickr)
Over the past yr, Democrats in Washington have scored a collection of legislative wins to spice up American competitiveness on the world stage. President Biden and leaders in Congress have navigated razor-thin majorities in each the Home and Senate to move a string of landmark payments to ramp up American manufacturing and infrastructure, put money into important semiconductor manufacturing and scientific analysis and improvement, and fund revolutionary clear power initiatives.
Nonetheless, whereas Congress has steadily labored to assist American firms take care of their opponents in China, India and Vietnam, one federal company, the Worldwide Commerce Fee, is threatening to undermine Democrats’ efforts to strengthen American competitiveness.
Satirically, the ITC was initially created with competitors in thoughts. The fee was in a position to ban merchandise produced overseas from U.S. markets, a strong software meant to dissuade international firms from stealing American mental property or partaking in unfair commerce practices. Nonetheless, the ITC has overpassed its unique aim. Now, the fee spends extra time harassing American firms on behalf of companies that abuse patent and mental property legal guidelines than defending U.S. companies. The ITC’s actions typically run counter to Democratic priorities in Washington.
On August 9, President Biden signed the hard-fought CHIPS and Science Act, a invoice that will increase American competitiveness with semiconductor-producing nations like China and Malaysia and offers aid to American producers combating the chip scarcity. Nonetheless, whereas Democrats have been working to rally assist behind the invoice, the ITC allowed a international firm owned by Atlantic IP Providers, which advertises itself as a frontrunner within the “patent monetization” market, to file a lawsuit that may have blocked the importation of semiconductors utilized in GM and Ford’s EV lineups, a transfer that may have severely damage two prime American automakers making an attempt to compete with firms from Asia and Europe within the crowded U.S. auto market.
Luckily, the ITC rejected these claims. Nonetheless, that hasn’t stopped dangerous actors from utilizing the fee to undermine American companies in extremely aggressive industries.
For instance, one ITC case between AliveCor and Apple threatens to hamstring U.S. firms’ potential to compete with nations like China and Russia in scientific and medical analysis. Democrats fastidiously crafted the Bipartisan Infrastructure Legislation, CHIPS and Science Act and the lately signed Inflation Discount Act to incorporate manufacturing and medical analysis funding.
Nonetheless, within the case between AliveCor and Apple, the ITC may ban from U.S. markets the Apple Watch, a product ceaselessly utilized by Nationwide Institutes of Well being grantees, prime analysis universities and main hospitals to detect, perceive and deal with coronary heart illnesses.
If the ITC fingers down a choice to ban the Apple Watch, or another product ceaselessly utilized by American researchers, it could not solely have instant preventive well being implications for tens of millions but in addition ship a serious blow to U.S. analysis and improvement and endanger the identical initiatives the federal government is working to advertise.
Democrats have fought exhausting to ship main coverage wins to spice up American competitiveness, but when they proceed to permit the ITC to situation orders hurting U.S. companies, they danger shedding that progress. Luckily, they’ve the ability to do one thing about it.
Whereas President Biden can veto ITC choices, he and Congress have to direct the fee to take a extra productive method to uphold its obligations to guard American industries’ pursuits. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., chair committees with oversight over the ITC, and there’s laws in Congress that may take the primary steps towards reforming the fee.
If leaders in Washington are critical about pushing their competitors agenda ahead, they’ll take these steps — and extra — to cease the ITC from hurting American competitiveness.