CPSIA Update: It’s Up to Congress to Fix the Law

By June 24, 2009Regulations

The Washington Times today publishes a column we’ve written on the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, an op-ed headlined “Lead-footed safety issues,” or in the print version, “Like a lead balloon.”

The arguments will be familiar to those who read Shopfloor or otherwise follow the CPSIA’s excesses:

It’s a safe bet that no member of Congress has ever given a speech proudly endorsing a bill to close mom-and-pop businesses, hurt low-income shoppers, cause libraries to discard children’s books and ban products ranging from dirt bikes to ballpoint pens.

Last year, Congress overwhelmingly passed a law that did all these things – forcing small businesses to close and punishing manufacturers, retailers and consumers. Yet the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) became law with few warnings – and no congressional floor speeches – about the serious economic harm it would cause.

We conclude with an observation about Inez Tenenbaum, soon to assume the duties as chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission:

Ms. Tenenbaum is being put in a difficult position, asked to enforce a flawed law that is destroying businesses and depriving consumers of safe and useful products. Her tasks ahead include not just regulation and enforcement, but persuasion. She must convince Congress of what is already painfully clear to businesses large and small: It’s time to fix the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act.

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