Letter Supporting a Bill Introduced by Senator DeMint to Amend the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA)
February 4, 2009
The Honorable Jim DeMint
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Senator DeMint:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world's largest business federation representing more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region, applauds your recently introduced bill to amend the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) and provide much needed regulatory relief to businesses. Your bill addresses several practical problems with implementing CPSIA.
The Chamber strongly opposed CPSIA, which was signed into law on August 14, 2008, because it mandated onerous new federal standards for manufacturers and sellers of children's products under the guise of improved safety requirements. Specifically, the Chamber opposed the 180-day implementation period treating children's products containing certain amounts of lead as banned hazardous substances. The Chamber argued that it would be incredibly difficult – if not impossible – for manufacturers to re-work their entire supply chains to comport with the new lead standards within such a short time frame.
The Chamber also opposed the expensive certification requirements, the imposition of civil and criminal penalties for noncompliance, and the enforcement of CPSIA provisions by state attorneys general. Complicating matters, the Consumer Product Safety Commission's General Counsel issued an advisory opinion that the lead ban applied retroactively to products on shelves and in inventory. This would have a devastating economic impact as millions of dollars worth of safe products in warehouses and stores become un-sellable. With an already fragile economy, implementing CPSIA now could be economically catastrophic.
Your legislation would correct many of these problems. It would delay CPSIA's implementation by six months, prevent retroactive enforcement, provide a good-faith exemption for first-time offenders, exempt second-hand sellers, and offer relief to small businesses, among other things.
The Chamber applauds your efforts to address the problems inherent in CPSIA and protect businesses from potentially devastating economic harm.
R. Bruce Josten
Cc: Members of the United States Senate