Obama Secures Provision to Increase Accountability and Safety of Imported Products
Amendment requires GAO study of current import regulation and recommendations
U.S. Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) applauded the Senate's passage of his amendment to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Reform Act (S. 2663), which would help improve government regulation of imported products. With millions of products imported every day into the United States, this provision would require the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to examine the CPSC's current monitoring and enforcement systems of imports and make recommendations to improve safety, including the feasibility of having CPSC inspect foreign factories.
The Senate also passed a measure that Obama offered with Senator Benjamin Cardin (D-MD), which would provide consumers with comprehensive information about recalled products. The Senate passed the CPSC Reform Act by a vote of 79 to 13.
"For millions of Americans, the Consumer Product Safety Commission is the only safeguard for the products that cross our borders everyday," said Senator Obama. "We must ensure that the CPSC has every tool available to effectively regulate imported products in today's global marketplace and protect our most vulnerable citizens from dangerous products. I am proud the Senate included my amendment into this critical legislation, and I urge the House and Senate negotiators to send this bill to the President as quickly as possible."
When the CPSC was established in 1972, most U.S. consumer goods were manufactured in this country. Since then, many manufacturers have relocated their production abroad to countries with inadequate safety regulatory systems. Yet the CPSC does not have full-time staff working at any of the over 300 United States ports of entry. It is essential for the GAO to examine the product safety issues presented by ever-changing product markets and present Congress with options for better protecting consumers from dangerous imports.
Public Citizen has endorsed this measure.