NAM backs more funding for product safety commission

RP news wires, Noria Corporation
Tags: workplace safety

Testifying on behalf of the National Association of Manufacturers, Joseph M. McGuire, president of the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, on November 6 told the House Committee on Energy and Commerce that the Consumer Product Safety Commission needs more resources to do its job effectively. McGuire spoke for the NAM CPSC Coalition, which represents most manufacturers of consumer products in the United States.


"We have aggressively supported increased appropriations for the commission in this Congress, and advocate that these increased dollars be directed to enhancing the CPSC's personnel dedicated to product testing, evaluation and enforcement and to improved technology and facilities," McGuire said. "Companies that work with the commission recognize that it is facing many challenges, is thinly staffed, many veteran employees are retiring, and its information technology systems and laboratory are grossly inadequate. Modern technology makes it possible for a smaller commission to be more productive than the larger commission of the 1970s, but 21st-century technology and resources must be in place."


McGuire said the American marketplace is safer than ever but "the perception of a safety problem" is troubling to U.S. manufacturers because their economic viability depends on public confidence in their products.


"We support stepped-up efforts to ensure that Chinese producers throughout the supply chain are meeting the appropriate standards of safety and quality," he said.


The House Committee is conducting hearings on The Consumer Product Safety Modernization Act of 2007, H.R. 4040. McGuire said the coalition supports many provisions within H.R. 4040, but is concerned that legislation should not impose new non-tariff barriers to imports.


"We absolutely agree that imported products should be designed and manufactured just as safely as U.S. products," he said.


McGuire said manufacturers support rapid dissemination of information to the public, and that most delays in responses to Freedom of Information Act requests are due to CPSC's lack of resources and technology.


"In order to maintain the present environment of voluntary industry communications to CPSC, we strongly urge the Congress to keep in place the requirement that there be review of company submissions and CPSC documents for accuracy and fairness before disclosure occurs," he said.

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