Dumb and Dumber: Toys From China & Lobbyists from NAM

So you operate a toy company and along the way, you probably offshored your production to China to save money. And now that Americans have awakened to the obvious problems with your business plan, you want to still sell your toys to the public without testing them for lead.

Your options: 1) sell your inventory before February 10, 2009, when the new lead regulations come into effect; 2) do nothing and just risk it; and/or 3) lobby to make the standards non-retroactive.

Dear readers, would you be surprised if our friends who cut corners by offshoring to China would choose option 3? Melanie Trottman reports in today’s Journal that:

…Mr. Woldenberg [a toy seller] said he believes that few, if any, of his company’s goods have lead in excess of the new standards, he has started to have the inventory tested. Meanwhile, he has written to the Consumer Product Safety Commission and congressional staffers, asking for an indefinite amount of time to sell off his older inventory.

The National Association of Manufacturers and other trade groups have also asked regulators and Congress not to apply the new lead standard to products made before the standard was set.

“There’s the potential loss of billions of dollars in inventory that is deemed safe for purchase on Feb. 9 but deemed unsafe Feb. 10” unless proved otherwise, said Jim Neill, an association spokesman.

Deemed safe on February 9th but not on the 10th? We should ask Jim Neill how much lead he thinks is safe for his children–the February 9th or the February 10th standard.


  1. Bugger me. I thought George WMD Bush and his lot were going away …

  2. Hank Roberts

    Jeez, why not just ask the Fed to buy them out and put them in the vaults as security for paper money loans? It’s not like the toxic credit default swaps are still worth what they were last summer, or the house you bought last year, or your job prospects, or 401k, or anything have held their market value.

    Why should Mr. Toxic Toy’s products be price-controlled and protected?

  3. Little known fact.

    It is common for banned, toxic or mechanically hazardous, products to be gathered up from US retailers in well publicized move to gain good will from the public. The usual press release has claims that there are no safety issues with the product but it is being removed from store shelves out of ‘an abundance of caution’. That XYZ corporation will always put protection of consumer safety ahead of its own interests.

    These products are then bundled up and resold in South America or other locations where consumer protections are more lax.

  4. william e emba

    These [toxic] products are then bundled up and resold in South America or other locations where consumer protections are more lax.

    On a lighter note, sports championship memorabilia is often prepared ahead of time in two batches. The batch celebrating the eventual winners is sold in the USA. The batch celebrating the eventual losers is sold or dumped overseas.

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