US Sends Substandard Products Overseas

Here’s some depressing news: US companies increasingly export products that do not meet our safety standards, says the Washington Post.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission says it’s powerless to stop the flow of dangerous products.

From the Washington Post:

Companies notified the agency 97 times last year that they planned to export goods that did not meet some aspect of U.S. safety standards. That is up from 57 times in 2002, according to the agency.

Among the types of goods exported were toys, lighters, fireworks, clothing, chemicals, carpets and pacifiers. They were shipped to Belgium, Ireland, New Zealand, Colombia, the Czech Republic and the Philippines, according to the CPSC. The agency did not identify the companies involved or reveal what standards the goods violate.

“Our agency, through our governing statutes, cannot claim much moral authority over the Chinese, or any other foreign country, when it comes to our own export policy,” Commissioner Thomas H. Moore of the CPSC said in a list of legislative proposals regarding the agency. “Our export policy is based on a desire to see U.S. manufacturers be able to compete in foreign countries in terms of price and marketability, not safety.”

A spokesman for the Irish embassy said that he’s sure the Irish National Consumer Agency would be “very concerned if unsafe products are being placed on the Irish or European market.”

Great! We’re repackaging substandard products that can’t be sold here and pawning them off on other countries. The CPSC thinks this is hypocritical behavior and it’s hard to argue otherwise.

“Given this background, it is somewhat hypocritical of us to berate any other country for not requiring their manufacturers to abide by the myriad U.S. mandatory and voluntary product-safety standards,” Moore said.

Products That Miss Safety Standards Sent Overseas by U.S. Companies [Washington Post]
(Photo:Morton Fox)