Monday, February 21, 2011

CPSIA - New York Times Notices the CPSIA

The New York Times this evening gave some coverage to last week's hearings in an article entitled "Child-Product Makers Seek to Soften New Rules". Reflecting the usual bias of the Times against business, the article intones: "Emboldened by a Republican majority in the House of Representatives, manufacturers of toys and other children’s products are making a last-ditch effort to quash new safety regulations that they say are unfair or too onerous . . . . The manufacturers are also trying to scale back new regulations, drafted by the commission, that would require third-party testing to determine the safety and lead content of children’s products. They have found a receptive audience among House Republicans." [Emphasis added]

So let me ask you, does it appear that I am "emboldened" by the Republican majority in the House? Is that accurate? As I recall, I began working against this excessive and irresponsible legislation in September 2007 and began my "war" with intensity when I was invited to present at the CPSC Lead Panel on November 6, 2008. That was more than two years ago, long before the "emboldening" Republican majority. In fact, I worked hard in the last election to put the Republican majority into office.


Because no one on the other side of the aisle would listen. What the NYT noticed is that someone is listening . . . finally.

Am I trying to "quash" the legislation? I think that's an unrealistic goal and have never asked for it. I have stated repeatedly that the legislation has few achievements to boast about and that it is defective as drafted (can't be fixed). It is also killing jobs, companies, markets and products. It needs to go but, as noted, I think that's unrealistic. I think fixing it is the best we can hope for.

And I promise that our efforts are not "last ditch". We're not going to be done until the CPSIA is fixed.

The article goes on to note that at least one Democrat thinks the CPSIA stinks: "Other lawmakers, including at least one Democrat, Representative John D. Dingell of Michigan, suggested that new regulations requiring third-party testing of all children’s products for safety and lead were too broad and needed to be revised." John Dingell, who's he? "At least one Democrat . . . ." Ummm, Mr. Dingell is not only the longest serving member of Congress in the history of the United States but he also happens to be the longstanding Chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce who also sponsored the legislation to create the CPSC in 2972. I think he is something more than just another Democrat - he is a major historical figure and a person of great standing in this matter. When he came out against the CPSIA on Thursday, he broke with Waxman and stood up for the TRUTH.

The Times gives the consumer groups the last word: "Representatives of consumer groups, meanwhile, are fretting. They said they were worried that the tougher standards they fought for, and seemed to have finally won, were now in jeopardy. 'You have folks who are seeing that there is a chance to undo consumer protections that they never liked in the first place,' said Ami Gadhia, policy counsel for Consumers Union."

That's true - we never liked the law in the first place. It is a massive waste of money, is hurting markets, companies, jobs and kids, has mired the agency and industry in a three year mud fight and isn't making anyone safer.

It's time to end the posturing and the story telling. We need to fix this awful law before it kills more companies and more products. How many companies need to die before Congress and the New York Times gets the message?

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