Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Congress Passes Reform of the CPSIA!

From Dan: For almost three years, we've been working hard to reform the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) of 2008, a one-size-fits-all law that imposed the same costly third party testing requirements on small batch toy crafters as it did on Mattel. Without a change in the law, we were worried about losing dozens of our favorite small business suppliers, many of work out of their homes.

I helped found the Handmade Toy Alliance in 2008, and I've made three trips to Washington DC and testified twice in Congress. Along with hundreds of other retailers, crafters, and small manufacturers, we've been trying to make the argument that handcrafted children's products deserve protection.

Yesterday, in a flurry of action during all the chaos of the debt ceiling debates, Congress finally passed a bill that offers a way forward for small businesses and targeted exemptions from the costs of third party testing. It was a truly bipartisan bill with only 2 no votes in the House and none in the Senate. We expect it to be signed by the president within days. We believe that these changes will save hundreds of businesses and many of our store's suppliers.

I have to thank the other members of the HTA board, all of whom have been working tirelessly to reach this day. They're a remarkable group of people with a diverse set of talents. They've helped me keep going even when all hope of change seemed to be lost.

We've all learned a huge amount about how the government works. And we've learned that it really is true that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.

Thanks also to all of our wonderful customers to wrote to Congress on our behalf--you really made a difference!

Finally, I have to thank Senator Amy Klobuchar, who's office has been incredibly helpful from the beginning. Senator Klobuchar helped us to shape this bill so that it was as helpful as possible and used her influence to push it through the Senate on a unanimous consent vote. We also owe thanks to our friends at MetroIBA, the Minnesota Retailers Association, and Park Midway Bank, all of whom helped us bring this issue to the Senator's attention.
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