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H.R. 5318 (114th): SHIELD Act of 2016

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on May 24, 2016.

Solidifying Habitual and Institutional Explanations of Liability and Defenses Act of 2016 or the SHIELD Act of 2016

This bill amends the Federal Trade Commission Act to prohibit the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines or general statements of policy related either to unfair methods of competition, or to unfair or deceptive acts or practices, in or affecting commerce from: (1) conferring rights upon any person, state, or locality; or (2) binding the FTC or any person, state, or locality to a recommended approach.

In enforcement actions, the FTC must prove a violation of a law enforced by the FTC. The FTC's enforcement actions or consent orders may not be based solely on allegations that acts or practices are inconsistent with guidelines or general policy statements unless the acts or practices violate FTC-enforced law.

Compliance with guidelines or general statements of policy may be used as evidence of compliance with a law under which the guidelines or statements were issued.