Bipartisan Group of Senators Urge Federal Trade Commission to Reduce Information Technology Theft

U.S. Senators Mary L. Landrieu (D-Louisiana) and Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine), Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, along with a bipartisan group of 14 other Committee members, today wrote to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) urging commissioners to promote American manufacturing competitiveness by working with the state Attorneys General to fight the growing problem of theft and use of stolen information technology (IT) and intellectual property (IP) by foreign manufacturers. Co-signers of the letter include: Senators Carl Levin (D-Michigan), David Vitter (R-Louisiana), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), John F. Kerry (D-Massachusetts), Marco Rubio (R-Florida), Joseph I. Lieberman (D-Connecticut), Kelly Ayotte (R-New Hampshire), Maria Cantwell (D-Washington), Michael B. Enzi (R-Wyoming), Mark Pryor (D-Arkansas), Scott P. Brown (R-Massachusetts), Jeanne Shaheen (D-New Hampshire), and Kay Hagan (D-North Carolina).

On November 4, 2011, the National Association of Attorneys General sent a letter to the FTC Commissioners on behalf of 39 states and 3 U.S. territories, requesting they use their concurrent jurisdiction and the tools at their disposal to combat this burgeoning problem. The Senators' letter asked the FTC to consider the request made by the state Attorneys General to ensure a level the playing field for law-abiding manufacturers.

In the letter, the Senators wrote:

"As members of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, we are keenly aware of the vital role the manufacturing industry plays in our country's economy -- particularly small manufacturers. A remarkable 98 percent of America's manufacturing firms are small businesses. Furthermore, more than one in three Americans who work in manufacturing, work at a small business. With small firms representing such a significant part of the manufacturing sector, it is important that we provide them with the tools to be competitive in the global marketÂ…To that end, the NAAG request would be a significant step in protecting the resources on which U.S. manufacturing depends to develop and grow their businesses and the jobs that come with it."