From the ABA Antitrust Section bi-annual Consumer Protection Conference in Atlanta, Acting FTC Chairman Maureen Ohlhausen made her first keynote address in her newly elevated roll. To the backdrop of playful beluga whales in the ballroom of the Atlanta Aquarium, she outlined three consumer protection priorities she will put in force during her time in the driver’s seat.
President Trump just promoted FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai to the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. ERA and our member companies look forward to working with him in the years ahead to ensure our country has good public policy solutions that move our nation forward.
While congratulations are in order for Chairman Pai and we wish good luck with the new role, there is one little problem with this appointment that must be pointed out. It turns out that Commissioner Pai is something of an amateur gardener. While a noble pastime, gardening can also be tricky and caution should be encouraged for a man with such an important new role. In fact, from all of the reports I have seen to date, it is clear that Commissioner Pai should resist his green thumb urges and leave all of the weed whacking to the professional gardeners at least until the conclusion of his time at the FCC.
Last week I was pumping up the Trump Administration for identifying Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes as a potential Chair of the FTC along with FTC Commissioner Maureen K. Ohlhausen as the favorite for acting FTC chair. Both are seasoned consumer protection pros who would do a great job.
Today congratulations are in order with Commissioner Ohlhausen having been appointed as the acting Chair of the Federal Trade Commission. As I noted last week, I feel a lot better about the FTC with this development. Commissioner Ohlhausen needs no introduction to ERA having given us a speech in 2013 and again visiting with us for a fireside chat with Ed Glynn in 2015.
Unfortunately for the President this excellent move at the FTC might be the only thing he got right last week. It was a rocky road on a number of other fronts. The administration was panned for its botched handling of executive orders on the immigration travel ban and it’s restructuring of the National Security apparatus. These developments sucked up a lot of media attention and distracted everyone from another key story that we are keeping an eye on for ERA members. That’s why I wanted to take this opportunity and tell you about the very real possibility that we might soon be experiencing the Trump Trade Wars.
I have some incredible news to share with you. Recent reports suggest that President-elect Donald Trump is considering Sean Reyes as the next chairman of the FTC. Currently he is the attorney general of Utah.
You may recall Attorney General Reyes’ keynote at the 2015 ERA Government Affairs Fly-In where he got a standing ovation from our attendees. He also had a memorable visit to last year’s D2C conference in Las Vegas where he joined a panel of legal experts to talk about self-regulation.
Last year, right before Christmas, a big thing happened that you really need to know about.
The U.S. Supreme Court declined the review of a case that requires marketers to either collect sales tax for purchases made by people in Colorado or report on customer’s purchases to the state.
The industry has been fighting against this outcome since 2011 when the DMA filed suit in Direct Marketing Association v. Brohl. ERA along with its partners in the True Simplification of Taxation (TruST) coalition strongly supported this effort filing and Amicus Brief in support.
However, all the appeals have been exhausted so now Colorado will want you to report.
Here is what you need to know to get ready:
It’s been a “Yuge” year so far.
Last week I shared a “beautiful” cheat sheet to help Direct Response Marketers survive the Trump era and this week I’ve got something better.
What you might ask?
Well the only thing that can trump that would be the inside scoop straight from the FTC. That’s why I reached out to my friend and long-time FTC insider Lesley Fair. She agreed to visit with ERA’s Government Affairs Committee to tell us “what’s really going on” so you can do a safety dance.
Thankfully the FTC agreed to the visit as well. That’s why we love the Federal Trade Commission (and you should, too!).
It’s nice to finally meet you after all the bumpy election action we saw last year. I am expecting 2017 to be “Yuge”!
No really, the Trump administration is just getting started with all its ideas and policies. In the signature words of our President Elect “we have to figure out what’s going on."
In order to have a smooth transition through these changes, I have prepared this “beautiful” Direct Response cheat sheet just for you. As we now say in Washington, it’s “Bigly” (or “Big League” depending on whom you ask).
So 2017 let’s do this!
The election of 2016 is finally over. By all accounts this campaign season was a no holds barred battle. The candidates offered contrasting visions for our country’s future that where robustly explored and vetted by the electorate. No national consensus emerged on policy. Rather, voters split along geographic fault lines for their favored candidates.
A troubled nation, divided.
Where are we now?