Submitted by Chip Pickering
Former Mississippi Congressman urges Congress to oppose anti-competitive legislation.
The United States has been the economic superpower since World War II – not to mention the only military superpower since the fall of the Soviet Union nearly 30 years ago.
Certainly, America is blessed with an abundance of natural resources, but so was the U.S.S.R. America’s greatness comes from its people. It is because – as Reagan put it – America is a ‘shining city on a hill.’ A nation founded on liberty, with boundless opportunity that attracts the world’s greatest talents. It is this freedom and opportunity that drives innovation, breeds competition, unlocks investment and generates wealth.
As we watch the horrible scenes taking place in Kabul, it should serve as a reminder to us how blessed we are to live here. With more than 51 million foreign-born residents living in the U.S., the United States is far and away the most popular destination for the world’s immigrants.
Now, a new superpower rivalry is emerging between the U.S. and China – again, a clash between communism and capitalism. However, there are efforts in the U.S. House of Representatives targeting American tech firms with anti-competitive legislative proposals that would not only undermine the fastest growing sector in our economy but assist China in its effort to dominate the global technology market.
This so-called antitrust legislation would undercut and jeopardize America’s economy and military might. If House members want to score political points by taking on the large technology firms, so be it; however, this antitrust effort is misguided and dangerous.
If the Chinese gain control of the global tech market, the big losers are not just companies such as Facebook, Amazon and Google. It’s our entire economy, tens of thousands of small businesses dependent on the digital economy and millions of Americans whose livelihood is
contingent on the success of the tech/digital sector. This flawed legislation would give the Chinese Communist Party the ability to sue American tech firms and exempt most foreign tech companies such as Alibaba and Huawei from oversight. This is madness and imposes a high risk of damaging our economy.
America needs Congress to get this right. There is too much at stake – our economy and national security.
It may be politically tempting to hit big companies, but members of Congress need to make sure they are not helping communists in China move closer to their goal of replacing the U.S. as the global leader of technology.
U.S. tech firms have shown they are essential, especially during the pandemic. They support and promote small businesses and start-ups across every sector, providing the technology tools necessary for Main Street success in America’s heartland. Tech innovation and investment have resulted in more product choices for consumers at lower prices. A tell-tale sign of a functioning free market that benefits consumers, not a monopoly that restricts competition.
Our current antitrust standards serve us well promoting consumer welfare and competition providing enduring success of the American economy; however, new populists are indiscriminately attacking these standards without stopping to think of the damage they might cause to America’s economic and strategic interests.
Distance learning, telemedicine, working remotely and connecting with family and friends are all practical benefits across the country – not to mention U.S. tech firms drive job creation and capital expenditures more than any other sector.
The U.S. economy is critical to our future. Please, urge your elected officials in Congress to oppose this anti-competitive legislation before it resets the global economy.
Chip Pickering is a former member of Congress and CEO of INCOMPAS.