Petition to President-Elect Obama: Deliver On Your Toy Safety and Fair Trade Promises!

Kids across America face dangerous threats this holiday season from unsafe imported toys. Our trade agreements have flooded the country with toys made in countries with incredibly lax safety standards, while at the same imposing limits on the safety standards and inspections we can impose on imports.

President-Elect Obama committed during his campaign to address unsafe imports and to rewrite failed WTO/NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) style agreements that encourage the offshoring of production and limit border inspection and imported product safety standards. But big corporations and their teams of lobbyists are mounting a pressure campaign to promote the status quo.

Tell the President-Elect you've got his back on toy safety and trade reform. Sign the petition below to protect kids from unsafe imported toys!

Petition to President-Elect Obama:

Dear President-Elect Obama,

As children and parents, givers and receivers of millions of holiday toys, we are deeply troubled about the potential dangers of harmful imported toys threatening our families’ health and safety.

Reports show that we are less prepared than ever to protect our families against this year’s unprecedented $23 billion of imported toys. The Consumer Product Safety Commission could not verify that it has any full time safety inspectors in our 326 ports; it only monitors nine of these 326 ports with part-time inspectors.

Many of the brand-name U.S. toy companies spent millions lobbying to pass trade agreements like the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that protect their low-road strategy of offshoring production to countries with lax safety standards and cheap labor while simultaneously placing limits on the U.S. safety standards and inspection rates applied to imports. Such trade deals put the interests of big corporations seeking to offshore production ahead of the safety of toys and other products used by kids and families in the United States.

During your campaign, you said, “As president, I'll work with China to keep harmful toys off our shelves” and that the United States “should amend NAFTA to make clear that fair laws and regulations written to protect citizens in any of the three countries cannot be overridden simply at the request of foreign investors”.

We are writing to urge you to help solve the imported toy crisis by doing the following:

  • Alter various provisions of U.S. trade agreements that currently encourage the offshoring of manufacturing and limit border inspection and imported product safety standards;
    • Provide domestic agencies responsible for product safety new authority to inspect products and facilities overseas, increase U.S. border inspections, raise new funds for these inspections from offshored firms, and only permit entry to goods certified as meeting our safety standards.

We applaud your recognition that ensuring toy and product safety means rewriting our NAFTA/WTO-style trade policies, not enacting more of the same. We urge you to make rewriting the import safety provisions of pending and past trade deals a top priority.

Want more information? Learn more about the full Public Citizen report about trade and imported toy safety.

Please fill out the form below. We'll send a copy of the petition with your name on it to the Obama transition team.


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