CPSC Takes First Step To Expand Enforcement – Consumer Protection

CPSC Takes First Step To Expand Enforcement – Consumer Protection

April 23, 2021 Off By administrator

United States:

CPSC Takes First Step To Expand Enforcement

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On March 1, 2021, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
signaled its intent to increase enforcement of its product safety
regimen by seeking to more than double its current $135 million
budget via a public letter from Robert Adler, acting chairman of
the CPSC, to Rosa DeLauro, chairwoman of the United States House of
Representatives Committee on Appropriations.
While the result of this funding request is yet to be determined, a
separate $50 million appropriation and an expanded
COVID-19-specific consumer product safety agenda are already coming
to the CPSC as part of President Biden’s recently enacted
American Rescue Plan Act. This new appropriation combined with an
increased annual budget would provide additional resources for the
CPSC to ramp up its product safety oversight efforts.

Adler’s March 1 letter begins with a two-page introduction
that highlights the much larger budgets of other safety regulatory
agencies, such as the Food and Drug Administration and the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It emphasizes the contrast
between the CPSC’s heavy workload and its history of
“severe[ ] underfund[ing] since [its] inception almost 50
years ago.” The letter then sets forth a ten-page outline that
details a plan to “Reinvent[ ] CPSC.” That reinvention
starts with a $370 million budget for 2022, comprised of a $281
million annual budget and a one-year allocation of $89 million (as
compared to a budget of approximately $132 million in 2020 and $127
million in 2019).

Overarching themes of this reinvention plan include investment,
modernization, restructuring, and expansion. Indeed, Adler’s
letter uses some iteration of the term “expand” thirty
times. The letter also includes several overarching goals for the
agency, including:

  • Committing to vigorous compliance
    with a Division of E-Commerce Enforcement, expanding defect
    investigation capabilities through the creation of a Department of
    Investigations, and increasing civil penalty enforcement;

  • Expanding the hazard identification
    by concentrating on chronic hazards,

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