According to the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), the comprehensive consumer product safety legislation, known as the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (HR 4040), agreed to by Congressional conferees represents progress in terms of funding and resources to enable the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to more effectively monitor and evaluate the safety of imported consumer products.
"I testified both this year and last before both houses of Congress in support of greater resources for the CPSC,” said Joseph M. McGuire, AHAM president. AHAM supports more authority for the CPSC to monitor, test and regulate products suspected of safety problems. “However, I also expressed serious concern about the legislation overreaching where established consensus safety standards have a solid track record of safety and responsiveness to changing circumstances, such as with electrical appliances," McGuire said. AHAM also expressed concern about legislation which could create a patchwork of differing state interpretations of federal safety law."
AHAM believes the final bill achieved many of its primary policy and funding goals and maintained a balanced approach to public disclosure, state attorney general authority and maintaining federal preemption of differing state standards. However, AHAM’s view is that the bill contains provisions that are peripheral to maintaining product safety, could lead to more litigation and divert the CPSC from its core mission. The bill does give CPSC new tools to address specific problems and the resources to address consumer product safety in the 21st century, AHAM said.
“We hope CPSC can remain focused on core safety issues and we look forward to continuing to work with them in a cooperative manner,” added McGuire.
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