The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) applauded President Obama for signing into law legislation that will increase funding for the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The $25 million increase over FY2008 spending is a necessary move as the CPSC continues to implement the comprehensive Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA) that makes significant changes to the consumer product safety regime.
“After years of budget cuts, Congress has wisely provided more funding for the CPSC to enhance efforts to keep unsafe products out of the marketplace,” said AAFA President and CEO Kevin M. Burke. “Since the recent enactment of the CPSIA, the agency has been strained in properly implementing and enforcing the new regulations and educating stakeholders. This increased funding will give the CPSC additional resources to more effectively manage the new regulations under the CPSIA and provide much needed guidance to the apparel and footwear industry. I am pleased President Obama, together with Congress, has made this funding a reality.”
Of the total $105 million appropriated for the CPSC in the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009, over $17 million has been set aside specifically for new agency responsibilities and requirements created by the CPSIA. Also included in the Act is an allocation for additional U.S. embassy staff in China to serve as a bridge between U.S. businesses and manufacturers and their Asian supply chain counterparts to meet safety compliance regulations and expectations.
“While this funding is a step in the right direction, more needs to be done to help our apparel and footwear industries adapt to the new regulations,” Burke said. “All stakeholders are interested in protecting consumers and, more importantly, children. But the CPSCs lack of resources to effectively implement the new requirements coupled with the CPSIAs short deadlines, ambiguous language, and new standards that do not factor in risk assessment, collectively have put companies in economic peril without meaningful improvements to consumer safety. As we get past the Feb. 10, 2009 lead and phthalate implementation date, Congress and the CPSC need to take the steps to build a constructive dialogue about the serious consequences this legislation has on our industry.”