Saturday, July 14, 2007

CPSC Proposal to Strengthen Efforts Against Unsafe Imports

Article in the Wall Street Journal -- Product Safety Commission Aims to Strengthen Ability to Combat Unsafe Imports, by Christopher Conkey.  Here's an excerpt:

The Consumer Product Safety Commission says it has a new proposal to strengthen its ability to combat unsafe imports. But the measure faces limited resources and challenges from lawmakers.

Nancy Nord, the CPSC's acting chairman, plans to present Congress on Monday with several measures that would beef up the agency's ability to impose safety requirements and sanctions, such as by increasing its authority to stop unsafe imports at the border. Her plan also would increase the maximum fine for violations more than fivefold, to $10 million.

The proposals, which would need Congress's approval, come at a time of heightened concern over the hazards posed by Chinese-made products ranging from pet food to children's toys.

But Ms. Nord's plan wouldn't seek more funding, which many critics see as a central problem for the agency. The CPSC currently has about 400 full-time employees, and its work force has steadily declined in recent years, even as globalization has made product safety more challenging.


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