Thursday, July 21, 2011

Regulating for the sake of?

Over the past week, I have commented briefly on the President’s Executive Order as well as the Commission Majority’s unfortunate decision to move forward on the reduction of lead in toys from 99.97% lead free (current level) to 99.99% lead free. As I have mentioned in the past, the Commission Majority often points to the inflexibility of the CPSIA or the need to protect public health to explain its willingness to burden the economy with unnecessary and wasteful regulation. The party-line decision last week that there are no products or product categories for which 100 ppm total lead content (99.99% lead free) is not technologically feasible belies those claims. The Majority has ignored the flexibility Congress granted the Commission to avoid imposing a 100 ppm limit, and cannot point to any gain in public health to offset the substantial economic harm its decision will cause.

There is a reason President Obama issued an Executive Order in January requiring Executive Agencies to reduce unwarranted regulatory burdens on American businesses, and issued another Executive Order last week imploring independent agencies, including the CPSC, to do the same. The President recognizes that overly burdensome regulations are strangling the economy and hindering the job growth essential to a sustained recovery.

Last week’s 100 ppm vote gave this Commission the opportunity to let the President know that it is listening and that it understand and cares. Instead, hiding behind the President’s inability to compel us to act and under the guise that the statute made them do it, the Majority once again chose to impose huge economic costs on American manufacturers with no evidence that there will be any improvement in public health.

I encourage each of you to take the time to read my official statement which provides more clarification and analysis of this issue. As always, I welcome your feedback and comments.

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