Today the White House will announce its own plan for how to tighten the country’s slack product safety practices. The proposal is being offered as an alternative to the one Congress has come up with, which the White House—along with industry trade groups and Consumer Product Safety Commission head Nancy A. Nord—think is too mean to manufacturers.
The White House version suggests stationing inspectors in other countries to inspect goods before they are shipped to U.S. shores, because “with $2 trillion in imports annually, inspections at the ports had become ineffective.” We’re not sure how the math works on that one—unless sharks or pirates consume large amounts of imports during transit, the same number of goods leave foreign ports and arrive at ours, and having inspectors all in one place where they can work together, instead of spread out in each foreign country, seems a more efficient use of resources. But we’re probably just stupid from too much lead.
The White House plan will also increase the power of the CPSC and the FDA (although we assume, based on where they stand philosophically, to a lesser degree than what Congress is proposing), and will cost lots and lots of money. Budget figures will be released after the President makes the formal announcement sometime today.