September 4, 2009
Energy and Commerce Committee
Re: Format of the House
Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection Hearing,
“Consumer Product Safety Commission Oversight: Current Issues and a
Vision for the Future”, scheduled for Thursday, September 10
Dear Chairmen and Ranking Members:
We are writing in regard to the subcommittee hearing set for September 10, 2009, the first Commerce Committee hearing on consumer product safety since the CPSIA was passed over a year ago. We are very disappointed to learn that the committee will not be taking this opportunity to hear from any small businesses affected by the CPSIA. Indeed, we have learned that CPSC Chair Tenenbaum will be the only person invited to testify.
While we have full faith in the abilities of Ms. Tenenbaum and believe she is working to apply common sense interpretations to the CPSIA, we do not believe that the she can represent the full scope of the CPSIA's impact on responsible American small businesses. Nor do we believe that the unintended consequences of the CPSIA can be solved through the CPSC's rulemaking. A technical correction is required, and we would like the opportunity to tell your committee why.
Our businesses have been burdened by a law designed to fix a problem created by irresponsible multi-national corporations such as Mattel. The small manufacturers, crafters, and retailers represented by our alliance have impeccable safety records, yet we are burdened by excessive compliance costs while Mattel has once again been trusted to police itself.
Now is the time for Congress to hear the voices of small businesses. Now is the time to show that laws can be written for the common good, not just for the interests of large, well-connected corporations such as Mattel. Now is the time to invite small businesses, including a representative of our alliance, to speak truth to Congress about how the CPSIA is devastating our businesses and our livelihoods.
As parents, consumers and small business owners, we all believe that children’s products should be free of toxins and safe for our children. We are in business due to our sincere desire to put forth quality products. Unfortunately, the CPSIA has made this endeavor much more difficult than it should be.
Please, help us fix the CPSIA. Help us continue to provide unique clothes and playthings for America's children. Please, invite us to testify.
The Handmade Toy Alliance
Contact information and a listing of all 382 business members of the Handmade Toy Alliance is available at http://www.handmadetoyalliance.org/members-of-the-handmade-toy-alliance