Friday, March 6, 2009

CPSIA: Does anyone have new information?

I've been out of the loop for a while now on the whole Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act and I was wondering what the latest is on that issue. I received a letter from one of our senators today and it seems things aren't looking so good for small manufacturers. Does anyone have an update they can share?

Thank you for taking the time to write me about the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue, and I understand your concern.

As you may know, I supported the CPSIA. This law will protect kids and it is particularly important to me, since a Minnesota four-year-old died in 2007 from swallowing a charm made almost entirely of lead. At the same time, with legislation as detailed and sweeping as the CPSIA, certain clarifications and adjustments need to be made, especially as many small manufacturers, retailers, second-hand stores -- as well as ATV, bicycle and motocross enthusiasts -- are struggling to understand the practical and legal impact of this law. To that end, I have repeatedly urged the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) -- the agency in charge of implementing the CPSIA -- to issue pragmatic, common sense regulations that both ensure children’s safety and spare countless businesses and consumers unnecessary disruption. Congress gave the CPSC the power to do just that, and I remain disappointed with the agency’s adherence to a rigid interpretation of this law.

It was never Congress’s intent to pass an inflexible law totally isolated from real world considerations; but that’s how the CPSC appears to be interpreting this law. Please note that along with a number of others Senators, I have called for a change of leadership at the CPSC so that this law can be implemented in common sense and practical ways that are consistent with the intent of Congress. I will continue to fight hard to make sure this happens.

Attached is a recent letter that I wrote to Acting CPSC Chairman Nancy Nord on CPSIA implementation, which includes many of the concerns Minnesotans have raised. Please be assured that I will continue to push on your behalf for a reasonable implementation of the law at the CPSC as well as in Congress.

Again, thank you for contacting me. One of the most important parts of my job is listening to what the people of Minnesota have to say to me. I am here in our nation’s capital to do the public’s business and to serve the people of our state. With that in mind, please do not hesitate to contact me again about matters of concern to you.

Sincerely,

Amy Klobuchar
United States Senator