The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) brings U.S. trade policy into the 21st Century

Coalition Letter to the President on the USMCA Trade Agreement

Dear Mr. President:

The recent signing of a new trade agreement with Canada and Mexico is a significant breakthrough for free trade and American prosperity. The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) brings U.S. trade policy into the 21st Century by modernizing trade rules in effect since 1994, and the USMCA is an important win for American workers.

With the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement now finalized, Congress has the opportunity to further protect American workers and advance free trade – not just here in the United States but around the globe as well.

We, the undersigned organizations promoting free markets and conservative policy, support exempting Canada and Mexico – two countries that now have a proven track record of cooperating with the new administration – from steel and aluminum tariffs. Such policy will incentivize these entities to continue working with the White House on its America First agenda, all while relieving financial pressure on American manufacturers who depend on these critical materials. More, these exemptions will provide relief for other industries ‘whacked’ by retaliatory tariffs. From automobile manufacturers to beermakers, millions of workers will benefit while the American economy continues to expand.

Absolutely, and perhaps most significantly, our military depends on aluminum and steel to defend the nation. Since World War II – for more than seventy years – American tanks, planes, and ships have been built with aluminum produced by our allies like Canada. Tariffs and trade barriers hurt the American economy, stifle opportunities for workers, and threaten U.S. Military Readiness. Exempting Canada and Mexico from these tariffs is good policy, and necessary for a wholly successful agreement.

In the case of the new trade pact, your Administration has been successful in forging a fairer and better alliance between Canada and Mexico. Congress now has the ability to turbo-charge the agreement, and in so doing helping the American economy, future diplomacy, hardworking taxpayers and workers, and our Armed Forces – a ‘free trade trifecta’.

We urge Congress to take the right steps to lift these tariffs. The US-Mexico-Canada Agreement marks an important step forward for North American trade relations. Once it’s done, America and her allies will be able to focus attention on the principal threats to free trade.

We urge such action immediately.

 

Most respectfully,

 

Andrew Langer – President, Institute for Liberty (IFL)

Matthew Kandrach – President, Consumer Action for a Strong Economy (CASE)

Lew Uhler – President, The National Tax Limitation Committee (NTLC)

Jerry Rogers – President, Capitol Allies (CapAllies)

Chuck Muth – President, Citizen Outreach

 

Support H.R. 4537

Dear Leader McConnell and Senator Crapo:

We, the undersigned organizations dedicated to limited government and constitutional principles, are writing to ask that you act on H.R. 4537, the International Insurance Standards Act. This legislation has broad bipartisan support and passed the House unanimously. The International Insurance Standards Act would protect and preserve state-based insurance regulation from inappropriate foreign influence, create more transparency and accountability for US federal participants at the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) and strengthen US negotiators’ position in the international insurance negotiation process, benefiting American policyholders, workers, and business.

The American insurance model is based upon the concept of federalism. Each state regulates and decides which rules should apply within their boundaries. This model of insurance regulation has served our nation’s consumers, markets, and industry for over 150 years. But the American model has come under threat from heavy-handed European bureaucrats seeking to impose their burdensome red tape on the US insurance industry thus making our insurance industry less competitive abroad and negatively impacting the protection of US insurance policyholders.

We strongly support the separation of powers detailed in the U.S. Constitution. The ongoing regulatory standard-setting at the IAIS is a threat to both the states’ authority to regulate the insurance industry and a threat to Congress’ authority under Article I to “regulate commerce with foreign Nations…”. We believe that HR 4537 will begin to help restore some of these important principles.

Specifically, the legislation requires that the US system of insurance regulation be formally recognized in any international insurance agreement before our federal participants in the negotiations can support the agreement. By enacting this requirement and the rest of the International Insurance Standards Act, you will ensure that changes to the American insurance model come from state insurance commissioners or Congress, not from global mandates embedded within an international agreement negotiated by an executive branch appointee.

As we noted, this bill has strong bipartisan support and should be enacted before the end of the year. Thankfully, HR 4537 was also included in a broader Senate bill – S. 488 (JOBS Act 3.0) that is eligible for expedited Senate floor consideration. This legislation passed the House by a vote of 406-4 in July of this year and now awaits a full vote by the Senate. We strongly urge you to bring S. 488, as exactly passed by the House, before the entire US Senate, at the earliest available opportunity. The American system of insurance has served the nation well and should not be threatened by European bureaucrats who fail to understand or appreciate basic concepts of federalism and who seek to make our markets less competitive. We urge quick passage of this important legislation.  October 9, 2018

The science says that vaping technology eliminates 95 percent of the harm caused by using tobacco

According to the American Lung Association, “Many ex-smokers say quitting smoking was the hardest thing they have ever done.” This includes people who have “climbed mountains and corporate ladders, or tackled childbirth. It can take a smoker multiple quit-smoking attempts before they are completely smoke free.” And too many people simply quit trying to quit because nicotine feels good. It is both a stimulant and a relaxant so it perks you up when you’re exhausted, and it will soothe you when you’re anxious.

There are 38 million cigarette users in the United States, and cigarette smoking kills nearly a half-million people a year. Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the world. Yet, anti-smoking activists and government regulators are fighting new technologies and products that will save millions of lives. Wrap your head around this fact for a second: Government officials and ‘do-good’ public health advocates are seeking to stifle innovation that will help people quit cigarettes.

A new survey released by the Center for Substance Use Research (CSUR) confirms that vaping technology is a viable, lifesaving alternative to cigarettes that helps smokers quit. The survey, commissioned by JUUL (a vaping device company), found that for many cigarette smokers the switch to vaping occurred easily. This should be great news for elected officials and public health experts because “almost every single study that has looked into the safety of vaping has found it to be significantly less harmful than traditional cigarettes.” The science says that vaping technology eliminates 95 percent of the harm caused by using tobacco.

The CREATES Act

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The Creating and Restoring Equal Access to Equivalent Samples Act of 2017 (CREATES Act) protects the free- market principles that have allowed Americans to have access to our superior quality of treatment. Congress should pass the CREATES Act to lower prescription drug prices by encouraging market competition while protecting the safety of patients.
Since it was created in 2007, the Food & Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS) program has been a critical mechanism for patient safety, ensuring that the benefits of a drug or biologic outweigh its safety risk. FDA-mandated REMS programs serve a powerful public good by providing additional information to patients and providers. Yet some brand companies have been exploiting a loophole in the law and abusing the REMS Elements to Assure Safe Use (ETASU) requirements to prevent competition for products with and without required REMS programs.
The CREATES Act aims to stop the misapplication of REMS by bad actors to prevent or delay the market entry of lower-cost generics and biosimilars. This bipartisan legislative remedy is narrow in its application, only addressing the specific problem of REMS abuses. CREATES will not establish any new or onerous regulations on brand companies. On the contrary, this legislation, if enacted, will support marketplace competition by allowing generic manufacturers to purchase samples at market-based prices.
The CREATES Act is pro-patient and pro-market, and it is supported by a wide coalition of patient organizations and free-market advocates.
Congress must pass the CREATES ACT to take up what President Trump called a top priority in his 2018 State of the Union: lowering prescription drug prices

Lansing Should Reject Lobbyist’s Crony Power Play

For nearly a decade, the Department of Justice (DOJ) ignored a Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling declaring that the (Federal) Wire Act covers only sporting events, not games of chance. The DOJ reversed itself in 2011, returning to states the right to regulate online gambling.

This was an excellent move for states’ rights. Legal gambling sites use technological methods to restrict their business to the states where online gaming is allowed, so states that don’t permit such gaming are not affected. And the DOJ’s previous interpretation of the Wire Act was incredibly broad – it effectively banned all Internet gambling, even within a single state.

Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey have legalized online gaming and nearly a dozen more states – including Michigan – are considering following suit. Seeing this trend, Sheldon Adelson tried –  unsuccessfully – to build an online gaming business. Since failing to capitalize on the market, his company, Las Vegas Sands, has been terrified that online gaming represents a competitive threat to the profitability of brick-and-mortar casinos. With more states looking to legalizing online gaming, the threat appears to be growing. So Adelson – “the world’s orneriest casino mogul is spending millions to stop online gaming” – is pushing Michigan legislators to ban his competitors. He launched the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling and hired lobbyists to advance his economic interests:

“Adelson’s astroturf lobbying front, the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling (CSIG), was represented [at the] Michigan House hearing on the topic. The hearing was scheduled in conjunction with the introduction of two new regulatory measures by Rep. Brandt Iden, and it drew prominent forces on both sides of the debate.”

Some conservatives have been chafed by Michigan’s attempt to regulate online gaming. However, these conservatives fundamentally misunderstand the issue and the facts of Michigan’s online-gambling bill, HB4926. First, HB4926 is not an overreach intended to allow unfettered, unregulated online gambling. In The exact opposite is true. Rather than allow for unfettered gambling, the HB4926 will establish regulatory protections for gaming where none currently exists. And second, opposition to HB4926 isn’t about safety: Foreign sites operate without child safeguards or financial protections.

Adelson fears the competition from states legalizing online gaming, and he believes it is suicidal for casino interests not to seek a ban. Sites in Michigan, or any state, could become serious rivals to brick-and-mortar casinos in Las Vegas. The Adelson opposition to Michigan’s HB4926 is really about one billionaire attempting to shield his business from competition – the epitome of cronyism.

Why would anyone – not in the military or law enforcement – need an “assault weapon”?

Why would anyone – not in the military or law enforcement – need an “assault weapon”?

C.O. Chinn was a black man in Canton, Mississippi, who in the 1960s owned a farm and a nightclub, and a large collection of handguns, “assault” rifles, and shotguns with which he threatened local Klansmen and police when they threatened his businesses or intimidate civil rights activists working to desegregate Canton and register black residents to vote.

We have a right and a duty to fight tryanny.

Coalition Letter to The Hon. Jefferson B. Sessions III

Updated February 14, 2018 — Click here for letter text: Coalition Letter requesting a Special Prosecutor to investigate U.S. counter-intelligence possible spying on Presidential candidates

Dear Mr. Attorney General:

We the undersigned write to urge you to adopt Senator Lindsey Graham’s call for the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate the possibility the U.S. counter-intelligence apparatus may have involved itself in the last Presidential election by spying on one of the two nominees for president.

The integrity of our counter-intelligence apparatus and our elections are already profoundly at risk because of what has already been disclosed to the public. Even the suggestion our national security’s counter-intelligence capability was manipulated as the result of opposition research activities paid for by the Hillary Clinton for President campaign and/or by the Democratic National Committee and was deployed against domestic political figures must be investigated to the fullest extent possible.

It is only by careful inquiry conducted by an independent and impartial investigation that the American people’s confidence can be restored in our electoral process and the nation’s counter-intelligence organizations. Anything less will continue to cast doubt that will hang over the nation like a cloud for the foreseeable future.

Sincerely,

Dan Perrin,Council to Reduce Known Cyber Vulnerabilities

Jerry Rogers, Capitol Allies

Andrew Langer, Institute for Liberty

Deroy Murdoch, Political Commentator

Jim Martin, 60 Plus Association

David W. Wallace, Political Commentator

Norm Singleton, Campaign for Liberty

Seton Motley, Less Government

Judson Phillips, Tea Party Nation

George Landrith, Frontiers of Freedom

Peter Roff, Frontiers of Freedom

 

 

Coalition Seeks to Undo Crony Insurance Tax-Loophole

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Conservative Coalition Supports Senate Effort to Close “Bermuda Tax Triangle” Loophole and Protect American Jobs

Washington D.C. – On behalf of the following free-market groups and organizations, together representing Americans from coast to coast, we urge you to support the Senate’s Anti-Base Erosion Provision, which removes an unfair advantage favoring foreign insurers over U.S.-headquartered companies. Under current U.S. tax law, foreign based insurers are able to transfer profits to affiliates in offshore tax-havens tax free, but does not afford equal treatment to U.S. based insurers.

As a candidate for President, Donald Trump touched a nerve with voters by pointing out that our tax code is unfair to American companies and employees. One such unfair provision is the insurance tax-haven loophole, which has discriminated against the American insurance industry for over three decades. The proposed Senate tax bill removes the incentive that foreign companies currently exploit to shift thousands of American jobs overseas and avoid paying U.S. taxes. The federal government should never reward or encourage companies to make decisions at the expense of U.S. taxpayers and jobs.

The Senate tax bill includes strong anti-base erosion measures that will go a long way in stopping foreign companies from gaming the U.S. tax code. It is imperative that Congress resist any desperate attempts by foreign insurers to weaken the language thereby preserving their loophole.

Foreign insurance companies are using misleading talking points to prevent a level playing field for U.S. companies. While their inaccurate claims alleging reduced capital and increased prices confuse the public discussion, the bottom-line is they want to avoid paying U.S. taxes and continue gaming the system. The Senate bill would merely require foreign companies to pay U.S. taxes on their U.S. generated insurance business instead of allowing them to use offshore affiliates to strip earnings.

Preserving a loophole for foreign insurers undermines the very foundation of the tax reform effort being considered on Capitol Hill.

At a time when companies are inverting, and the American people are demanding action against corporate tax avoidance, it is long overdue that Congress close the loophole. We urge Congress to support the provision in the Senate bill.

Read the full letter HERE: Congress Must Undo Crony Insurance Tax-Loophole_Coalition Letter