WASHINGTON, DC – President Obama today signed into law H.R. 2715, a bill to provide the Consumer Product Safety Commission with greater authority and discretion in enforcing consumer product safety laws. The legislation makes immediate and targeted changes to a flawed 2008 law that would have forced potentially billions of dollars worth of goods to be pulled from store shelves beginning on August 15 without rapid congressional action. The legislation passed the House with a vote of 421 to 2 and passed the Senate unanimously.
Spearheaded by Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade Subcommittee Chairman Mary Bono Mack (R-CA), the legislation includes modest reforms to the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, with a focus on some of the most urgent of the law’s many weaknesses. Passed in 2008, the law has produced a number of harmful unintended consequences, placing costly restrictions and regulations on small businesses, causing several to shut down and layoff employees.
This law will provide the CPSC with greater flexibility to decide how individual products should be regulated by allowing them to assess products on a case by case basis. Importantly, it makes new lead limits for children’s products prospective, applying the new lower limits to newly manufactured products while protecting products that are in full compliance with the standards in place at the time of their manufacture. Without compromising safety, these provisions ensure that store inventory is not wasted and that goods donated to charity are not pulled from shelves.
Upon Obama signing the bill, Bono Mack said, “This law strikes a careful balance. Among other things, it gives the Consumer Product Safety Commission the flexibility it needs to regulate based on “˜risk’ and not on arbitrary standards. These changes will significantly reduce the burdens imposed on struggling businesses while maintaining strong protections for our children.”