Subcommittee Approves Bills to Protect Small Businesses, Boost Economic Growth

July 10, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC – The Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade, chaired by Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE), today approved a series of bills to protect small businesses and boost economic growth.

The subcommittee approved a draft of the Targeting Rogue and Opaque Letters Act, or TROL Act, by a bipartisan vote of 13 to 6. The draft bill offers a balanced solution to address abusive patent demand letters and is the product of months of bipartisan negotiations amongst members and stakeholders. The legislation aims to protect businesses from abusive patent “trolls” while preserving the ability of patent holders to legitimately protect their intellectual property. The bill increases transparency and accountability in patent demand letters and provides the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) with the authority to levy fines on fraudulent practices. Ahead of the vote, a broad group of stakeholders urged support for the commonsense legislation. To view a list of supporters, click HERE.

Chairman Terry said, “With so many stakeholders with differing perspectives, the process has been difficult—but our product reflects the input of the most divergent interests on this subject. Our bill strikes the appropriate balance.”

The subcommittee approved H.R. 4013, the Low-Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act, by a bipartisan vote of 15 to 6. The legislation reduces regulatory burdens on small businesses that manufacture a small number of specialty cars, including replica cars used in exhibitions and parades. The bill exempts manufacturers of these specialty vehicles from certain standards. With an amendment by full Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), the legislation would provide this regulatory relief to manufacturers for the production of no more than 500 such vehicles per year.

The Subcommittee unanimously approved H.R. 4450, the Travel Promotion, Enhancement, and Modernization Act of 2014, by a vote of 22 to 0. The legislation, authored by Reps. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) and Peter Welch (D-VT), would reauthorize funding for Brand USA while increasing accountability and transparency of the program. The bill would allow Brand USA to continue to promote U.S. tourism and economic growth without any cost to U.S. taxpayers. The bill has strong support from a wide range of stakeholders. To view a list of supporters, click HERE.

Bilirakis said, “The United States is a global hub for commerce and travel, and an exceptional attraction for international tourists. Tourism is the lifeblood of our economy. Increased tourism means more American jobs. I am proud that my colleagues have joined me in a bipartisan effort to pass H.R. 4450 through the Subcommittee. The Travel Promotion, Enhancement, and Modernization Act will increase Brand USA’s efficiency, effectiveness, and transparency. My legislation means promoting economic growth while not utilizing a dime of taxpayer dollars. It is time to get Americans across the country back to work.”

###