Sunday, January 25, 2009

Update on the controversy regarding the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act

Kenneth Ross at Products Liability Blog has posted the following update on the controversy over the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act: "After Congressional leaders sent their letter of January 16th to the CPSC (see January 20 post), two Republican Congressman sent a letter to Chairman Waxman (see Barton letter to Waxman 1.21.09 ) on the 21st demanding hearings. Business leaders and small manufacturers have jumped in vociferously on what needs to be done (see Rick Woldenberg's letter). It is clear that there is not enough time for the CPSC to clarify the issue by the implementation date of February 10. There are time deadlines for passage of final rules pursuant to the APA that would not allow the current proposed final rules to be implemented until well after February 10. Therefore, the only feasible alternative is for Congress to delay implementation. Many in Congress will not agree to this, in part, because of pressure from the consumer groups (see Consumer's Union letter to CPSC Acting Chair ). This is a fascinating conundrum created by Congress and/or the CPSC. And small business owners are stuck in the middle. Many are throwing away inventory and going out of business. Many are trying to get their products tested. There is a group of manufacturers planning to file suit, possibly by next week, asking for a court to stop implementation of the the Act. Virtually no one will be in full compliance by February 10 and there is a question about enforcement of these rules, many of which are unclear and incomplete. And then what will the State Attorneys General do?"

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