With bi-partisan support, Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R- WA) passed her US SAFE WEB Extension Act (H.R. 4779) in the House. The bill, an amendment to the FTC Act, helps the FTC combat corrupt trade practices on the international level.
Congress originally passed the bill on Dec. 6, 2006. The Act was signed into law by Bush on Dec. 22, 2006, then renewed in 2012. According to the House Report (HR), the US SAFE WEB Act specifically:
(1) affirms the FTC’s cross-border enforcement authority;
(2) authorizes collaboration with foreign law enforcement in the form of investigative assistance and information sharing, provided certain statutory factors are met;
(3) bolsters the FTC’s ability to receive information from foreign counterparts by allowing confidential treatment of information received; and
(4) promotes relationship building through staff exchanges with foreign counterparts.
In 2005, foreign players were involved in nearly 20% of the fraud American consumers complained about.
In 2006, the Federal Trade Commission analyzed the Consumer Sentinel Network database and concluded that Americans lost about $219M to foreign companies for the year.
From 2006-2008 (as the FTC reported in 2009), it got more than 260,000 cross-border complaints, and responded to “38 requests from 14 foreign agencies in 6 countries resulting in several enforcement proceedings” (HR).
From Jan. 1, 2015 – Oct. 16, 2019, U.S. consumers filed more than 255,000 complaints against foreign businesses, resulting in a total loss greater than $410M.
“… [T]he prosperity of fools shall destroy them.”