The Chamber of Commerce on Friday promised to combat rule changes introduced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and its new chairman Lina KhanLina KhanHillicon Valley – Presented by Ericsson – DOJ unveils new election hacking charges FTC delays vote on supply chain inquiry On The Money – Biden warns oil industry MORE.
“The FTC is waging a war against US companies, so the US Chamber is fighting back to protect free initiative, US competitiveness and economic growth,” Suzanne Clark, the group’s president and CEO, said in a statement.
The powerful lobby group promised to “use every tool at our disposal, including litigation,” to oppose the agency’s agenda.
To kick-start that opposition, the House filed a series of requests for public records to seek information on a number of rule changes that the FTC has adopted since Khan was appointed chairman.
Khan has made several procedural changes since the takeover with the aim of speeding up the action.
The chamber specifically called the use of “zombie voices” cast by Rohit ChopraRohit ChopraFTC Delays Voting Chain Survey On The Money – Will Billionaire Tax Survive Joe Manchin? Hillicon Valley – Blinken reveals new cyber agency on State MORE before leaving the commission to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to advance certain issues through the now 2-2 stalled FTC.
The company’s lobby group also criticized the agency’s use of its civil sanctions authority to warn entire industries of potentially illegal behavior.
An FTC spokesman did not immediately return a request for comment on the chamber’s recent actions.
Commission spokeswoman Lindsay Kryzak told The Wall Street Journal that the agency “will not withdraw because corporate lobbyists are making threats.”
While the chamber voiced its criticism of coming from U.S. business broadly, several organizations representing smaller companies came to the FTC’s defense Friday.
“The positions taken by the Chamber with regard to policies tend to be something they would characterize as good for business, but in reality [are] good for big business, ”said Sarah Crozier, communications director at Main Street Alliance, a coalition of more than 30,000 small and medium-sized businesses.
“We just want to continue to highlight the fact that small businesses are not very well represented by the US Chamber, and here’s another example of that,” she added.
Criticism of the FTC’s leadership under Khan has also come internally from the two Republican commissioners on the panel.
GOP Commissioner Christine Wilson has repeatedly criticized the new leadership for decisions she claims have set the public and her staff aside.
Nidhi Hegde, director of strategy and programs at the progressive American Economic Liberties Project, pointed to the agency’s adoption of open meetings as a contradiction to that argument.
“For the first time, it’s becoming more democratic, where anyone, whether you’re a small business owner or you’re a consumer, you’re a worker, can have the microphone to tell your story,” she said. “Usually, the companies that have very good resources and lobbyists … are the only ones who are heard, and that has fundamentally changed, and I think that shakes things up.”