Thursday, December 4, 2008

Letter to Senators and Congressman

This is the letter that I sent to John McCain, John Kyl and Ed Pastor. I also plan to print it out and send a physical letter to each of them. I'm working up the courage to make phone calls as well.
Feel free to use any part of this for your own letters!

Dear Mr. ________
I am writing to you to express my deep concern for the impending enforcement of the new Consumer Product Safety Commission Improvement Act. As a parent of two young children, I understand that this law was written with the best of intentions – to protect children. However, this particular legislation is reactionary and holds potentially devastating economic ramifications.

I personally operate a small business designing and producing unique toys for babies and young children. My products are made primarily out of cotton fabric and polyfil stuffing. Under these new regulations, I would be required to submit each piece that I create to prohibitively expensive government approved third party testing. From what I understand, each test would cost me anywhere from $100-400, for each COMPONENT of the toy. That’s a test for thread, stuffing and each fabric. Considering the fact that I use many different fabrics, it would effectively eliminate my ability to do business legally in the US.

The fabrics and supplies that I use are already inherently lead-free. Requiring testing on them is redundant and unnecessary! Requiring expensive tests on inherently lead-free products to verify that they, in fact, don’t contain lead will only add financial burdens to small manufacturers – most of whom are already suffering from the current economic climate – while providing no improvement in consumer or product safety.

February 10, 2009 is being dubbed "National Bankruptcy Day" by many experts in the apparel and toy industry. I expect that if this legislation is allowed to be enacted, it will affect everyone from port workers to parents looking for legal products. Millions of pieces of merchandise will be destroyed because it can't be legally sold, causing not only environmental problems, but impacting charities that can't accept donations without a safety certificate.

The CPSIA is a treacherous law with potentially devastating effects. It means one thing for artisans and small business in America... unless you are a multi-million dollar company; you have no right doing business in the US.

As you can see, this legislation is dangerous. I imagine that it was originally written with good intention. However, I can only hope that you will take action in defense of hard working American business owners and help us continue our ethical practices of making safe products. Please help to defend entrepreneurial America!


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