U.S. Senators, Small Business Agree: S. 2992 Will Stifle American Innovation, Disadvantage Small Businesses and Decrease American Competitiveness

Washington, D.C. (02/16/2022) – Despite the rhetoric that some are using to push for hasty passage of the American Innovation and Choice Online Act (S. 2992), U.S. Senators and small business groups continue to say that AICOA will stifle innovation in the United States, disadvantage our small businesses and decrease the competitiveness of American businesses on the world stage.

“We want to dispel the real “big myths” laid out by some who are actively pushing to hastily pass the American Innovation and Choice Online Act. This legislation will hurt innovation through its broad interoperability requirements, disregard for market principles, and disruption of services to small businesses. Its broad interoperability requirements limit America’s most innovative companies by hamstringing the way they provide services and forcing them to expose their proprietary information to global competitors.

“AICOA specifically targets American companies that small businesses across the country rely on for logistical support and communicating with customers, stifling local innovation in communities around the US and disregarding the principles of the U.S. market economy that have led to cutting-edge technology produced at home,” said Chandler Smith Costello, a spokeswoman for the Don’t Break What Works Campaign.

What U.S. Senators and small business groups are saying:

Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE)
“I have significant concerns to balance about whether or not this bill achieves the right balance between the costs and inefficiencies between litigation and compliance and potentially unintended negative consequences on the competitiveness globally of our digital democracy principles on the world stage and whether or not we are achieving enough progress on combating anti-competitive behavior on the other.”

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT)
“I also worry that quite perversely and unintentionally it may actually entrench the very four companies which it’s aimed, by creating a strong incentive to simply cease doing business with third parties. This could crush thousands of small businesses and it could actually worsen the state of competition in online markets.”

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
“I have other issues I would like to work on with cosponsors of the bill, such as unintended economic consequences for small businesses who rely greatly on online platforms — there are many small businesses in Vermont.”

Doug Kelly, American Edge Project
“Rather than passing legislation that handcuffs America’s most innovative technology companies, Washington lawmakers should focus on bolstering our domestic innovation and slowing China’s theft of American technology. There’s too much at stake to get this wrong.”

Tracy Hernandez, Los Angeles County Business Federation (BizFed)
“The proposed antitrust bills being debated by Congress are antithetical to sensible, bipartisan pandemic recovery strategies that prioritize job creation, business growth and innovative competitiveness on the international stage. This package of bills neglects the needs of millions of small business owners and third-party sellers who depend on unrestricted access to online platforms to market their products. Passing any one of these bills would depress employment, jeopardize the future of California’s technology jobs and deny consumers fair access to competitively-priced, high-quality products.”

Karen Kerrigan, Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council
“Unfortunately, in its current form, S.2992 will disrupt and curtail market access for many small businesses, and alter the digital tools they have come to rely upon for survival during the ongoing pandemic. The national competitiveness and national security issues that Senators also brought forward during committee markup are quite significant. In our view, these significant issues are not fixable on the Senate floor.”

Learn more about how AICOA disrupts American innovation here: https://bit.ly/3uVeJlZ

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