We received the following message from Senator Jim DeMint, who wanted to alert the Etsy community to the legislation he’s proposing. We urge concerned makers and collectors of children’s items to get their individual voices heard. Etsy is hopeful that discussion will lead to child safety and micro-entrepreneurship reinforcing each other.
First, I would like to thank everyone for all the hard work you have done highlighting the many issues surrounding the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) for my colleagues. If it was not for your hard work, Capitol Hill would not be paying any attention to this issue.
Like you, I was pleased to see the stay of the testing requirement that the Consumer Product Safety Commission provided last week, but I am deeply concerned that it will be inadequate in protecting your businesses. Reporters for the Wall Street Journal summed the situation up quite well when they stated, “unless Congress acts, retailers and manufacturers still won’t be allowed to sell products that don’t comply with tougher lead standards that are set to take effect on Feb. 10.” While postponing the testing requirements is welcome news I’m not sure how helpful it is if retailers are not willing to sell your products for fear of massive legal liability. Further, we have seen that some interest groups are trolling shops looking for non-compliant products. This rightly scares retailers. It likely will scare them enough to tell suppliers who haven’t had their products tested to take their goods elsewhere.
Something needs to be done. We need to continue the fight and fix the law.
As many of you know, last week I announced that I am planning to offer legislation to fix the problems contained in the CPSIA. I’m not going to relist the changes here, but if you haven’t already visited the posting I would encourage you to visit my blog.
However, to make these changes a reality, I’m going to need your help. You need you to call your senator. The number for the switchboard at the U.S. Senate is (202) 224-3121. When you call, tell the operator what state you’re from and that you’d like to speak to one of your senators. Tell them where you are from. Explain how this new law will impact your life. Ask them to support the legislation I am proposing. And be sure to thank them for taking the time to talk with you.
Sending letters to the CPSC isn’t enough. The CPSC can’t fix this problem. Congress needs to act and it is you who must encourage them to do so.
Again, thanks so much for your help with this. I’m going to try my hardest to fix this issue, but I’m going to need your help. Please continue to get the word out on this issue. My staff will continue to post updates on this issue on my blog and on twitter. Please keep an eye on my blog and follow my staffer’s twitter for further information.