The American people would never have known how many factories were being built inremote provinces of China, employing workers who were happy to work fortwo orthree dollars a day.When the proposed technology transfer was inadvertently reportedin a Commerce Department newsletter, the offer was withdrawn.Ron Brown
But what was potentially more damaging to the United States was containedin a Memorandum of Understanding with the Japanese government, signedby Commerce Secretary Ron Brown
… an agreement to introduce legislation in theU.S, Congress that would destroy the U.S. patent system, as we know it.The vehiclesfor that treachery, already introduced in Congress, were H.400 and S.507, the Houseand Senate versions of the
Omnibus Patent Reform Act of 1997
.Because the legislation was so thoroughly “wired” on both sides of the aisle, ouremployers were seeking a small team of experienced government relationsprofessionals who’d been in the political arena long enough that many of their longtimefriends had risen to become influential members of Congress.
They were looking for lobbyists who were on a first-name basis withmembers of Congress…. men whose reputations in the political world weresuch that they could ask members of Congress to take certain actions, onfaith alone, and expect those requests to be honored.
What made the task so difficult was the fact that
the legislation was supported, notonly by the president and vice president of the United States, but by thePeoples Republic of China, the Japanese government, the Indonesian LippoGroup, and 80 or 90 of America’s largest multinational corporations
… all butassuring the neutrality of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Associationof Manufacturers.
On the day we arrived in Washington, April 12, 1997, we tuned in to C-Span just in time to see the House of Representatives pass H.400 on a voice vote.