Posts Tagged ‘chamber’
July 18th, 2016 at 12:11 pm
Intellectual Property Protection Means Greater Biomedical Innovation
Posted by Print

Reasonable people understand that nations more protective of property rights and the rule of law enjoy higher levels of innovation and prosperity.  The fields of pharmaceutical advancement and biomedical innovation more specifically are no exception.

In a cogent new piece, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Executive Director of Intellectual Property Policy Patrick Kilbride demonstrates how strong intellectual property (IP) protections fuel biomedical innovation that benefits the world:

[E]conomies with the strongest IP protections are 60 percent more likely to provide environments conducive to biotech innovation.  And economies with specific protections for the life sciences field see an average of 13 times more biomedical investment than those lacking IP protections…  [A]s intellectual property systems have strengthened over time, public and private investment in health care has increased, as well as individual earnings to support heath costs.”  (emphasis in original)

Why does that matter?  Because international and even domestic forces seek to  undermine IP protections, threatening the goose that continues to lay golden eggs:

We live in a world where concerted efforts are being made daily to erode intellectual property rights, based on the false premise that IP somehow threatens access to medical care.  While the facts simply don’t support this theory, it hasn’t stopped activists around the world from spreading misinformation and chipping away at the very IP protections that produced life-saving medicines in the first place.  Just a few short years ago, India stripped a leukemia drug of its patent, claiming that it inhibited access by its citizens.  The result?  Due to government interference, fewer Indian citizens had affordable access to this medication than before the patent was annulled.  In Canada, an overzealous judiciary revoked 25 previously granted pharmaceutical patents and sparked a case involving NAFTA protections that could do lasting harm to future investments in life-saving medicines.  And Colombia’s prime minister of health has repaid medical researchers scrambling to find a cure for the Zika epidemic by pursuing an arbitrary and dangerous attack on others in the industry, effectively stripping a pharmaceutical company of its patent for another drug.  It is also against this backdrop that the United Nations Secretary General has pressed for establishment of a High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines (HLP) to quickly produce a report, based on the same false premise:  that ‘failure to reduce the costs of patented medicines is resulting in millions of people being denied access to lifesaving treatments.'”

As Abraham Lincoln observed, “The patent system added the fuel of interest to the fire of genius.”  It’s incumbent upon us to safeguard IP protections that continue to fire the genius of medical innovation.  Too many lives are at stake across the world to allow the grim alternative.

May 27th, 2011 at 3:22 pm
Court Smacks Down Obama

In Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting yesterday, the Supreme Court obliterated the Obama administration’s ludicrous position (with apologies to the Chamber of Commerce, which lost its usually perspicacious way on this one) that a state may not withdraw a business license from employers who knowingly or intentionally hire illegal aliens. The whole controversy was nonsense.  The Chamber and Obama had argued that federal law prohibits states from sanctioning employers in that way, even though — get this — the law they cited explicitly allowed states to enforce rules against hiring illegals through “licensing and similar laws.”  In pursuit of its extremely pro-immigration ideological agenda — which will be put to an even bigger and more politically explosive test in another Arizona case next year — the administration argued that the exact words of a federal statute should be ignored in order to read that statute as preventing state action meant to dovetail with and complement, not undermine, those very same federal immigration laws. Writing for a 5-3 majority, Chief Justice Roberts concluded that no ambiguity exists at all: “the plain wording of the clause,” “on its face,” supported Arizona’s contention that it was operating entirely within the law.

As Ed Whelan noted at Bench Memos, Roberts got in a very sharp dig at the dissenting justices (and at the administration) by noting that two dissents read the clauses at issue in completely different ways. His footnote is worth quoting, with my bolded emphasis added:

JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR creates an entirely new statutory requirement: She would allow States to impose sanctions through“licensing and similar laws” only after a federal adjudication. Such a requirement is found nowhere in the text, and JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR does not even attempt to link it to a specific textual provision. It should not be surprising that the two dissents have sharply different views on how to read the statute. That is the sort of thing that can happen when statutory analysis is so untethered from the text.

As The Washington Times argued last December, a decision in favor of Arizona in this case means that in the more explosive case next year, “the administration’s argument… falls apart.” The Washington Times’ conclusion also stands: “States retain certain authority unless Congress expressly says otherwise. Arizona is right to insist that the Constitution is meant to limit federal power.”

Hans von Spakovsky of the Heritage Foundation notes some solace for businesses worried that they could lose their licenses over a mere mistake in hiring, rather than willful or flagrant violation of immigration laws: “As the Chief Justice pointed out, there is no sanction against employers for merely hiring unauthorized workers. The state law’s sanctions are only triggered if an employer hires such a worker intentionally, knowing that they are not authorized to be employed. An employer acting in good faith need not have any fear of being sanctioned, especially since they enjoy a safe harbor from liability if they use the federal E-Verify system to check on prospective employees.”

In a different piece, this from the Washington Examiner, von Spakovsky gives evidence of the practical reasons that the states’ authority in this regard is so important: The administration is flat-out refusing to enforce immigration laws on its own.

One can be moderate on the overall subject of immigration, supporting streamlined processes for legal immigration, while insisting that the law actually be enforced against those who break it. Culturally, too, legal immigrants (it stands to reason) are more willing to acclimate to American society and to our language, more willing to become more fully Americans as earlier waves of immigrants did; illegals tend (by my observation) to be more separatist, less assimilated, and even resentful. Is it too much to ask for the federal government to allow states to take reasonable steps to guard against the worst abuses from waves of unassimilated aliens, if the feds themselves won’t do it?