When is a Decision a Better Decision

In a public briefing this morning, the CPSC Commissioners received the agency staff’s recommendations for a CPSIA required final rule on another durable nursery product (toddler beds). 

This proposed rule provides a good example of a serious shortcoming of the CPSIA – that is, directing the agency to act without full information.  The incident data presented to the Commission today shows that there are very few serious injuries associated with the product under discussion.  We are also being told that, as a result of the rule, “…the price increase (as well as the increases in quality and safety) could be relatively high…It is possible that the draft final standard could have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities…The extent of these costs is unknown…”. 

Although the statute does not require that we look at the costs and benefits of regulations, it is unacceptable for regulators to issue rules impacting both consumers and product sellers without understanding the effects of their actions.  It’s no excuse to say the statute doesn’t make us do this; responsible regulating requires it.

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