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Washington, DC—Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), the President Pro Tempore of the United States Senate, issued a statement of support for Joe Simons and his nomination to be Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission.

  

“More importantly than resume, Joe Simons is also uniquely suited, both by temperament and character, to take up this charge. In his tenure at the FTC, on both merger and conduct cases, he earned a reputation for skill, integrity, and vigor. His enforcement decisions – both when to proceed, and just as importantly, when not to – reflected doctrinal expertise, a keen sense for economics, and a practical feel for the operation of markets. Indeed, the methods he developed have been adopted and used by administrations of both parties and judges of all philosophical approaches. Once in private practice, he was called upon – by both private clients and public institutions – to shepherd and handle the most important, and sensitive, of matters. As the FTC charts its course through the modern era, Joe Simons’ experience and stature will make him just the steady hand that the markets, the bar, and consumers expect.”

 The full remarks, as prepared for delivery, is below:

Chairman Thune, Ranking Member Nelson, and members of the Committee, I want to thank you for the opportunity to appear here today. It is my distinct pleasure to introduce Joe Simons as nominee for Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission. 

 We have all been waiting eagerly for this hearing, because we all know it’s high-time to get things up and running again at the FTC. Though now over 100 years old, its mission remains as critical today as it was when first established. The United States is the economic marvel of the world. Our market system – in which entrepreneurs are free to build and consumers are free to choose – has proven an engine of prosperity without equal. 

 But, as I need not remind members of this Committee, a free enterprise economy will reach its full potential only so long as institutions like the FTC keep our markets free, fair, and competitive. Striking that balance has always been exceedingly difficult, no less now than in the past. And so, for all the prosperity our system has delivered, for all it promises to deliver still, today there’s a palpable anxiety about our economy and its trajectory. Concerns are being raised about corporate consolidation and the conduct of some of our biggest firms. Questions of data privacy and security loom large. And thus, the next few years will prove a critical time in the history of the FTC. The concerns are real, the policy choices are difficult, and the pressures brought to bear are likely to be heavy.

 Ultimately, Chairman Thune, that is why I am so pleased to be here to make this introduction. Let me say this, and let me be clear: Joe Simons is just the man this moment requires. The President could not have made a better choice for this crucial role.

 Of course, he is superbly qualified to lead the Commission as Chairman. He was educated at Cornell and Georgetown Law. He served in several important posts at the FTC, including Director of the Bureau of Competition, and was both a partner and leader of the antitrust group at the law firm Paul Weiss. But, more importantly than resume, Joe Simons is also uniquely suited, both by temperament and character, to take up this charge. In his tenure at the FTC, on both merger and conduct cases, he earned a reputation for skill, integrity, and vigor. His enforcement decisions – both when to proceed, and just as importantly, when not to – reflected doctrinal expertise, a keen sense for economics and a practical feel for the operation of markets. Indeed, the methods he developed have been adopted and used by administrations of both parties and judges of all philosophical approaches. Once in private practice, he was called upon – by both private clients and public institutions – to shepherd and handle the most important, and sensitive, of matters. As the FTC charts its course through the modern era, Joe Simons’ experience and stature will make him just the steady hand that the markets, the bar, and consumers expect. 

 Of course, the FTC is more than just its Chairman. Before this Committee is an excellent slate. Christine Wilson is a recognized leader in competition law. Rohit Chopra is a widely regarded expert in consumer protection. And Noah Phillips, of course, is a part of our family here in the Senate. Consistently over the years, he has proven a reliable counselor to Senator Cornyn as well as an honest and productive broker in working with other Senate offices. I know he’ll make an exceptional Commissioner. 

 In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, I commend the President on such outstanding nominees, and I applaud this Committee for its expedition in moving them forward. Let there be no mistake: this is an excellent package, and it deserves bipartisan support. Led by Joe Simons, we can trust the FTC will faithfully fulfill its mandate, and continue in its tradition of bipartisan, practical enforcement and policymaking to tackle the challenges ahead.