January 30, 2009

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) calls for Senate hearings on the unintended consequences of the CPSIA

January 30th, 2009
Media Contact(s): Mark Eddington or Heather Barney, 202-224-5251

Senator's Letter Outlines Concerns to Consumer Product Safety Commissioner
Letter to CPSC Commissioner Nancy Nord (PDF, 190 KB)
Letter to Chairmen Rockefeller and Hutchinson (PDF, 169 KB)
Letter to Chairmen Leahy and Specter (PDF, 164 KB)

WASHINGTON – Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) today called for Senate hearings on the unintended consequences of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, which the president signed into law last August.

Hatch also delivered a letter to Nancy Nord, commissioner of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, in which he shared the concerns of many of Utah’s small-manufacturers and charities about the unintended consequences and potential liabilities they will face under the law, which goes into effect Feb. 10.

"I understand that states across the country, including Utah, are concerned and child safety should never be compromised,” Hatch wrote Nord in the letter. “However, the commission believes a legislative solution is necessary to alleviate the unintended consequences of the law. I am particularly concerned about the unintended consequences of the provisions that impose liability and penalties to those selling goods on the secondary market."

Recognizing the commission’s view that a legislative remedy is required to address other issues, Hatch further called upon the chairmen of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee to hold hearings.

Hatch is particularly worried about the law’s unintended consequences on resale businesses, handicraft stores, and small-toy manufacturers which operate in Utah. Under the new law, selling any product containing lead is a criminal offense, which makes resale business owners liable and makes it difficult for them to get insurance.

“Unless there are some changes, the legislation could end up placing undue hardships on many Utah companies, Hatch said. “That is neither desirable nor acceptable, especially during these tough economic times.”

In discussing the merits of Hatch’s letter, Nord acknowledged that the commission plans to soon release a modification of the certification requirements. She was clear that this is only one step in addressing the issues that have arisen as the commission attempts to implement the requirements in the enacted statute.

To see copies of Sen. Hatch's letters to Commissioner Nord and to the Senate Committee Chairmen, click on the PDF file below:

Hatchletters.PDF (96.0 KBs)

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