BEIJING (AP) — China is enforcing strict standards for its exports and will continue to work to regain consumer confidence in its products a top quality official said Wednesday.
Li Changjiang, head of China's General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, said officials have taken substantial measures to ensure that goods are made by certified manufacturers with qualified materials.
There will be checks at various stages of production, Li said, and authorities will also make it easier for exporters with good records to quickly pass customs inspections — all part of a four-month Cabinet-level safety campaign launched in August.
The country's exports have come under intense scrutiny in recent months because a number of potentially deadly chemicals have been found in goods ranging from toothpaste to toys and seafood. The international outrage gathered speed in March after a tainted pet food ingredient made in China was blamed for causing the deaths of cats and dogs in North America.
Li said Beijing and Washington have been in close contact and have sent delegations to discuss the quality issue.
''This month I will send my deputy to talk with officials with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ... on signing a memorandum on food safety,'' Li said. ''I believe both parties have adopted active measures.''
He also praised an apology by toy giant Mattel Inc., which recalled more than 21 million Chinese-made toys worldwide this summer. The products pulled off shelves included Barbie doll accessories and toy cars because of concerns about lead paint or tiny magnets that could be swallowed.
While hundreds of thousands of the toys were decorated with lead paint, Mattel also acknowledged design flaws and apologized.
''We think this is a practical and responsible attitude,'' Li said. ''We do not fear problems. When there is problem, we should investigate it.''
Li said that 87 percent of Mattel's recalled toys had problems with design.
''But of course, some of the recalled toys have excessive lead. Chinese companies should improve their work,'' he said, adding that inspections of lead paint should be strengthened to meet the standards of the U.S. and other countries.
China is the world's largest toy manufacturer, exporting 22 billion toys last year, about 60 percent of the world's total.