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October 26, 2008

United States and China teaming up to push toxic toys?

As state (and some federal) legislators across the United States have been working feverishly to keep toxic toys away from children, the U.S. government is working to derail other countries' efforts to do the same.

Which country do you think the U.S. government is partnering with to attack toy-safety standards? It couldn't possibly be China (the source of a flood of unsafe imports in recent years to the U.S.), could it?

According to Inside U.S. Trade:

The U.S. and China this week both pressed Brazil at the World Trade Organization on import licensing procedures for toys put in place last year in order to help ensure the safety of imported toys, and claimed that the procedures have caused unnecessary delays for exporters trying to ship toys to the Brazilian market.

The two countries raised the issue in an Oct. 19 meeting of the WTO Committee on Import Licensing. While the manufacturing and shipment of toys largely occurs in developing countries such as China, Malaysia and Thailand, toy companies such as Mattel that are headquartered in the U.S. and design products here are also interested in the issue, sources said.

For the third level of irony/disgust in this situation, please see our recent post about Delegate Jim Hubbard from Maryland who received troubling correspondence from the Chinese government regarding legislation he introduced to remove toxic toys from Maryland shelves.

It's really nice that in the face of a product-safety crisis here at home, the U.S. is using scarce government resources to attack other countries' regulations, at the behest of Mattel and with China no less.

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Comments

Toronto real estate agent

I believe this melanin disaster will finally force Chinese officials to act! But the problem is not only with the Chinese - the problem is, the cheaper we want the toy, the bigger possibility it will contain something toxic. And we usually want veeery cheap stuff...Good old times, when toys were made of tin, wood and rugs :) But I still prefer to buy one high quality toy, than 25 rubbish toys for $1...
Take care
Elli

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