One of the big-ticket legislative items this summer is USICA, the massive legislative package aimed at boosting America’s competitiveness with China in high-tech research and manufacturing. This bill is already the subject of a ton of lobbying by everyone from Big Tech companies to pet interests – yes, animal lobbyists – who are looking to influence the international trade of pets.
Enter The Coalition to Protect America’s Small Sellers. This coalition – which includes third-party retailers such as Etsy, eBay and Pinterest – have a new letter this morning, making their interests clear on the massive package.
The coalition is asking for the negotiating committee – made up of more than 100 Republicans and Democrats from the House and Senate – to do three things with the bill:
→ The removal of the SHOP SAFE Act – Section 80103 (COMPETES)
→ The inclusion of the INFORM Consumers Act – Section 20213 (COMPETES)
→ The removal of Section 2511 (USICA) on the Country of Origin Labeling Act
The SHOP SAFE Act makes online retailers “liable for infringement of a registered trademark by a third-party seller of goods that implicate health and safety unless the platform takes certain actions,” according to the Congressional Research Service. This, of course, could be a big problem for websites such as Etsy or eBay.
The INFORM Consumers Act requires “online marketplaces to collect, verify, and disclose certain information from high-volume, third-party sellers,” according to CRS.
And Country of Origin Labeling requires online retailers to label where products were made.
The main takeaway: A bill the size of USICA is going to touch all areas of commerce and everyone is getting in the game, trying to influence the bill.
– Jake Sherman