McConnell Urges Support for Bipartisan Bill to Protect America’s Intellectual Property

‘This bipartisan legislation can help promote the growth of our economy, help spur the increase and retention of American jobs, and help protect American innovation in the global economy.’

WASHINGTON, D.C.U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor today prior to the Senate voting on the bipartisan Defend Trade Secrets Act:

“Today the Senate will vote on the Defend Trade Secrets Act. This bipartisan legislation can help promote the growth of our economy, help spur the increase and retention of American jobs, and help protect American innovation in the global economy.

“It aims to do so by providing tools for American companies, both small and large, to effectively protect some of their most valuable assets in today’s international economy.

“American companies spend billions every year in research and development and in the creation of products we use every day. But some thieves would rather not go through the trouble of developing products themselves, they’d rather just steal the fruits of others’ creativity and innovation instead. That’s more than just wrong – it puts American jobs and the American economy at risk.

“American businesses find themselves increasingly under attack from sophisticated efforts to steal the very things that give them a competitive edge in the 21st Century economy: things like codes, formulas, and confidential manufacturing processes. While it’s never been easier for these thieves to launch attacks on innovation — sometimes armed with little more than a jump drive — many American businesses now find themselves less able to protect their important assets under current law.

“Senator Hatch knew we had to do something about this. He knew it was time to modernize our trade-secrets laws to keep pace with rapid advances in technology and criminal techniques. He knew it was time to streamline and simplify the process for U.S. companies to effectively defend American jobs, American growth, and the American innovation that’s increasingly at the heart of the modern economy.

“So Senator Hatch worked across the aisle, with Senator Coons, to develop the Defend Trade Secrets Act.

“This bipartisan legislation eventually gained the co-sponsorship of a majority of the Senate. This bipartisan legislation also passed the Judiciary Committee unanimously.

“That’s impressive, and it wouldn’t have happened without the able leadership of the Chairman of that committee: Senator Grassley from Iowa. Since the new majority took office, Senator Grassley has been a highly effective legislator as Chairman of the Judiciary Committee.

“From comprehensive legislation to address America’s opioid epidemic to protecting the victims of modern slavery to today’s effort to support American innovation, he’s received widespread praise from both sides of the aisle for leading a very productive committee. Senator Grassley is a hard worker, and he’s again winning kudos on this bill.

“The organization that represents America’s tech sector said that, ‘The committee’s process has been very open and thoughtful.’ A broad cross-section of American businesses wrote that, ‘The approach to the bill has been consensus-oriented.’ This, they said, ‘led to broad and enthusiastic support from a wide range of American organizations and companies…representing the technology, medical device, agriculture, biotech, pharmaceutical, automobile, clean energy, consumer products and manufacturing sectors.’

“So here’s what I say. Today’s trade-secret theft is high-tech, it’s fast-moving, and it threatens America’s economy, America’s jobs, and America’s innovation.

“I ask colleagues to join me this evening in voting to fight back on behalf of the American people.

“I ask them to join me in supporting the bipartisan Defend Trade Secrets Act.”

Related Issues: Law Enforcement, Back to Work, Jobs, Economy