In testimony before the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet, Castro discussed the unique and valuable role that U.S. oversight has served in Internet governance, the risks inherent in a transition away from this model, and how to best mitigate those risks.
Testimony and Filings
The Public Policy Implications of “Big Data”
In comments to the Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Center for Data Innovation, an affiliate research center of ITIF, argued the potential benefits of data for the economy and society are clear. However, the opportunities from data will not be realized unless policymakers create the necessary conditions for data-driven innovation to flourish. Unfortunately, most of the policy debate in Washington has been on how to minimize potential harms from data, especially around privacy, rather than on how to enable more and better uses of data innovation.
GMO Labeling is Unnecessary and Harmful to the Public Discourse
Professional biotech opponents are pushing in MD for legislation that would confuse and mislead consumers about genetically improved foods. ITIF looks at the science and finds the opponents claims to be abundantly contradicted by facts, data, and vast experience. The law would be very poor policy that would actually undermine the objectives it claims to want to advance.
Legislation Would Mandate Unfounded and Discriminatory Labels for Food
Biotech opponents in VT are pushing for a law to mandate misleading labels on genetically improved foods.The Senate Judiciary Committee is not keen on passing a law that would cost millions to defend in court against likely challenges. ITIF testimony demonstrates the claims of proponents are contradicted by science, data, and experience.
Legislation Banning Biotech Improved Grass is Bad for Consumers, Bad for Environment
Misguided opponents are pushing legislation in Connecticut that would ban a new biotech improved grass variety. The new grass would use less fertilizer, less water, require less mowing, and deliver improved weed management capabilities, reducing the enviornmental impact of lawns and golf courses. ITIF dissects the misguided objections of the opponents in testimony before the State Senate.
GMO Labeling Mandates Mislead Consumers and Raise Prices
In testimony before the Maryland Senate Committee on Education, Health & Environmental Affairs, Giddings argued that existing federal law and policies already deliver what proponents of mandatory GMO food labels claim they want: consumer choice and food safety. The draft legislation would in fact undermine those objectives, raise food prices and enhance the efforts by professional campaigners to mislead and confuse consumers as a means of expanding organic market share.
Testimony Before the United States International Trade Commission
ITIF Senior Analyst Stephen Ezell testified before the International Trade Commission this Wednesday for an ITC Investigation examining the effects of India’s trade, investment, and industrial policies on the U.S. economy. Ezell’s testimony argued that India has recently begun to embrace of a range of innovation mercantilist policies including forced localization policies such as local content requirements (LCRs), compulsory licensing of foreign intellectual property, price preferences and subsidies for domestic manufacturers, market access restrictions, and barriers to foreign direct investment. Collectively, these policies constitute a coherent Indian industrial policy which seeks to bolster Indian economic and employment growth by distorting global trade and forcing investment and production to occur in India. India has erected these policies across a diverse range of sectors from information and communications technology (ICT) and life sciences to renewable energy, manufacturing, retail, and financial services. But while these policies appear to offer India short-term benefits, in the long run they will prove self-defeating, damaging not just India’s economy—including its producers and consumers—but also harming enterprises and workers in India’s trading partner countries, including the United States, and even the global innovation economy.
Comments to the House Commerce Committee on Communications Act Rewrite
ITIF filed comments last week with the House Energy and Commerce Committee in response to explorations in updating the Communications Act being undertaken by committee Chairman Fred Upton and Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden. ITIF commended these efforts to modernize a badly outdated law. We advocated for a light-touch federal framework that would not unduly burden innovation in our nation’s networks or the applications and services that use them. ITIF urged the committee to proceed with humility as to predicting changes in communications technology and markets – the dynamic competition in today’s communications counsels against ambitious intervention. At the same time, there is undoubtedly a continued role for the FCC. The Commission’s role should generally shift to one of policing markets, correcting anti-competitive or consumer-harming behavior. The government should also be empowered to encourage broadband adoption and build-out where appropriate.
Comments to the FTC on the Internet of Things
In these comments filed with the FTC, the Center for Data Innovation argues that there is an enormous potential for the devices that make up the Internet of Things to address many important real-world problems, including how we manage health care, use energy, and protect the environment. Many of these technologies, and their respective benefits, are already being realized, but policy makers have the potential to make or break the Internet of Things. Most importantly, the full potential of the Internet of Things will not be realized unless policy makers embrace a flexible and modern regulatory regime that fosters data-driven innovation. Specifically, policymakers should work to lead by example in the adoption of new technologies, reduce barriers to data sharing, give consumers access to their data, avoid inundating consumers with notices, and regulate the use, rather than the collection, of data.