Under current law, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has the authority to share confidential information with foreign agencies and provide investigative assistance to those agencies to combat illegal activities originating outside the United States. That authority will expire on September 30, 2020; H.R. 4779 would extend the authority through September 30, 2027. In addition, H.R. 4779 would authorize the appropriation of $100,000 each year from 2021 through 2027 for the FTC to collaborate with foreign governments and to participate in multinational organizations related to law enforcement.
Assuming appropriation of the authorized amounts, CBO estimates that implementing the legislation would cost less than $500,000 over the 2021-2025 period.
H.R. 4779 would impose intergovernmental and private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA). CBO estimates that the cost of the mandates would not exceed the annual thresholds established in UMRA for intergovernmental and private-sector mandates ($84 million and $168 million in 2020, respectively, adjusted annually for inflation).
By extending preemptions of state and local liability laws, H.R. 4779 would impose an intergovernmental mandate. Specifically, current law preempts laws that prohibit people from disclosing information to the FTC and that require people to notify third parties if they disclose information to the FTC. Those preemptions expire on September 30, 2020; H.R. 4779 would extend them through September 30, 2027. Although the preemptions would limit the application of state and local law, CBO estimates that they would impose no duty on state, local, or tribal governments that would result in additional spending.
H.R. 4779 also would extend an existing mandate that exempts from liability private entities that voluntarily provide certain information about third parties to the FTC. The extension of such protection constitutes a mandate on those third-party entities because it limits their ability to file a claim for damages related to the disclosure. The cost of the mandate would be the forgone net value of settlements and damages that would have been awarded. Using information from the FTC, CBO expects that few such lawsuits would be filed and the cost of the mandate would be small.