House Panel Approves Reforms to Consumer Protection Law
Today the House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing & Trade favorably reported out sensible reforms to the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. Since the law’s passage in 2008, the CPSC has had to stay significant portions of the law to prevent several unintended consequences. The most troubling of those unintended effects was to ban safe children’s products like bicycles, ATVs, musical instruments and even library books. None of the supporters of the law believe that these actions were intentional, nor did they intend to eliminate the sale of all children’s products by charitable organizations like Goodwill.
Another unintended consequence has been the amount and cost of unnecessary testing which has forced some micro-businesses to close their doors and continues to provide costly uncertainty to small manufacturers throughout the supply chain. Additionally, the CPSC overreached on its implementation of a public database and failed to incorporate congressionally-mandated protections to prevent its improper use by trial lawyers and advocacy groups. The CPSC also failed to implement appropriate controls to prevent false information from being included in the database. The National Association of Manufacturers applauds the Subcommittee for this legislative effort and will continue to work with Democrats and Republicans on the Committee to ensure swift passage of needed reforms.
Rosario Palmieri is vice president for infrastructure, legal and regulatory policy, National Association of Manufacturers.