There have been nine editorials by The Wall Street Journal against the CPSIA. I thought you might enjoy seeing them all in one place. Below you will find links to all nine editorials, with a short highlight from each one.
The more things change, the more they stay the same . . . .
First Editorial (January 14, 2009):
Pelosi's Toy Story
"The damage comes from new rules governing lead in children's products. After last year's scare over contaminated toys made in China, Congress leapt in to require all products aimed at children under 12 years old to be certified as safe and virtually lead-free by independent testing. The burden may be manageable for big manufacturers and retailers that can absorb the costs of discarded inventory and afford to hire more lawyers. Less likely to survive are hundreds of small businesses and craftspeople getting hit with new costs in a down economy."
Second Editorial (February 6, 2009)
Toys for Congress
New lead rules hit next Tuesday. Whammo.
"CPSC Chairman Nancy Nord has noted that the law has created 'chaos and confusion,' and as if to prove her point, yesterday New York federal Judge Paul G. Gardephe ruled that the law's limits on a plasticizer known as "phthalates" should apply to existing inventory just as lead standards do -- overturning a CPSC ruling to the contrary. That makes it even clearer that Congress needs to fix its own mess. Trouble is, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is heavily invested in the fiasco. On passing the misguided law in August, she proclaimed that 'with this legislation . . . we will be removing these products from the shelves.' Taking store owners and toy entrepreneurs with her."
Third Editorial (March 30, 2009)
Pelosi's Library Quarantine
The CPSC is left cleaning up the House Speaker's messy child-safety law.
"Democrats in Congress have leapt to criticize acting CPSC Chairman Nancy Nord, in hopes President Obama will replace her. But the real culprit here isn't the CPSC, which is overwhelmed with requests from manufacturers trying to make sense of the chaos that Congress created. House Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry Waxman has dismissed efforts to improve the law, claiming the real problem is that "misinformation has spread" about the impact on businesses."
Fourth Editorial (April 3, 2009)
Toys R Congress
Ruining the kids motorcycle business
"The multibillion-dollar children's motorcycle and all-terrain vehicle industry has been clobbered. Kids motorcross racing has boomed in recent years in rural and Western states. And the regulators at the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) have decided that virtually all of these youth vehicles violate the new standards because of lead in the brakes, tire valves and gears. They've ordered motorcycle dealers to stop selling them, putting hundreds of dealers and the entire motorcross industry in a depression. With one stroke of the regulatory pen, an estimated $100 million of inventory can't be sold, and the industry loss may reach $1 billion."
Fifth Editorial (August 11, 2009)
Consumer Product Destruction
Congress's lead in toys panic is set to ruin more businesses.
"Jewelry makers now join the legions of other businesses on the hook for millions of dollars in lost sales, inventory or testing costs despite products that pose little to no risk of lead poisoning to children. In the spring, thrift-store operators like Goodwill and the Salvation Army predicted that without regulatory relief they would have to destroy more than $100 million of inventory. Toy stores expected some $600 million in playthings that would have to be trashed and another $2 billion in losses across the industry. Motorcycle and ATV makers predicted total losses and business disruptions around $1 billion. Children's clothing stores have suffered huge losses, with Gymboree losing 40% of its market value overnight after reporting losses related to the House's lead-paint panic."
Sixth Editorial (November 7, 2009)
Congress's Brass Knuckles
Another casualty of the lead toy 'safety' law.
"CPSC Commissioner Anne Northrop noted that the decision not to grant a brass exemption shows that 'the Commission does not believe there is any [flexibility] written into the law.' Without action from Congress to address the chaos it created, Ms. Northrop said, 'More small businesses will be forced to shut down.' CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum has insisted that changing the law would be 'premature.' Yet it has already been more than a year of bedlam for manufacturers and retailers negotiating these rules."
Seventh Editorial (April 6, 2010)
Waxman's Lead Poison
A fix of a bad law that is no fix at all.
"Mr. Waxman is insisting that any product applying for an exemption would still be subject to a three-pronged test to determine whether stripping lead from the product is 'practicable or technologically feasible,' whether a product might end up in a child's mouth and whether its exemption would affect public safety. In a response, CPSC Commissioner Nancy Nord explained that since all three tests have to be met for a product to qualify, 'the exception is as empty as the exception for no absorption of any lead. Such a provision does not really help anyone.' . . . If Mr. Waxman wants to enhance Congress's original creation, he should start by letting product safety regulators consider whether products are safe."
Eighth Editorial (March 11, 2011)
Get the Lead Out, Sir
Nutty test standards give Obama a real chance to help business.
"The law also requires the CPSC to propose the parameters of a third-party lead testing regime, but the issue is so mired in complexity that the commission has yet to set those standards. Under the proposed version of this so-called '15 Month Rule,' Learning Resources Chairman Rick Woldenberg has estimated that supplying multiple testing samples on each of his company's toys and products will cost his company some $15 million per year. . . . At a hearing in the House Energy and Commerce Committee in February, California Democrat Henry Waxman defended the law as 'necessary to protect kids and families across the country.' We wonder how he figures that, since the incidence of lead poisoning from toys made by domestic manufacturers is nil."
Ninth Editorial (July 20, 2011)
Toying With Deregulation
Another agency ignores Mr. Obama's executive order.
"Here's a question for White House regulatory czar Cass Sunstein: Do Presidential executive orders mean anything? Only last week President Obama asked independent agencies to examine existing rules and get rid of the duds, but nobody is listening. . . . Mr. Obama's recent executive order is voluntary, but the President told agency heads that getting rid of red tape was an opportunity to 'forge a 21st-century regulatory system that makes our economy stronger and more competitive.' Perhaps Mr. Sunstein will tell toy makers it's the thought that counts."