CPSIA Update: Chairman Tenenbaum Off to China

By July 28, 2009Regulations, Trade

McClatchy’s South Carolina reporter in D.C., James Rosen, has reported that Consumer Product Safety Chairman Chairman Inez Tenenbaum has left for China. From “Tenenbaum to challenge Asian nations on export safety“:

Tenenbaum, 58, will address foreign leaders gathered in Singapore for the annual summit of APEC, a major trade group that coordinates commercial ties among the United States, Canada, Russia and 18 Asian countries. In dozens of meetings with government and business dignitaries from across the vast region, Tenenbaum planneded to use Southern charm to deliver a key message. Her agency is once again aggressively enforcing consumer-safety measures after years of near-dormancy caused by funding cuts, staff reductions and commission vacancies under President George W. Bush.

Tenenbaum is traveling with Carter Keithley, head of the Toy Industry Association, an excellent partnership with business that could communicate clearly to Asian government officials and manufacturers what the United States will expect. We wish them success.

As you can tell from the excerpt, it’s a pretty featurish story, a common tone for hometown papers covering new federal appointees. Thus, it doesn’t address the hundreds of millions of dollars of economic harm caused by the overreaching and inflexible Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, or ask how Tenenbaum’s absence from Washington could affect CPSIA-related deliberations.

The National Association of Manufacturers has renewed its request for a one-year extension of the August 14th deadline for required product tracking labels, critically needed as the CPSC released guidance just one week ago. As Rick Woldenberg of Learning Resources, Inc., commented on the Hugh Hewitt Show, “The idea that you can put a six page document out three weeks before it’s due, and that that would make everything OK just doesn’t make any sense. It affects 60 percent of the economy.”

Fortunately, we live in an age of telephones, fax machines, and e-mail.

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