Action Alert December 21, 2007

 Take action now to protect kids from dangerous imported toys.
Sign the petition to the presidential candidates!


Santa's Sweatshop —
New Public Citizen Report links Toy Safety Crisis to Corporate Lobbying and Bad Trade Deals

Petition: Stop Dangerous Toy Imports
sign here

A new Public Citizen report links trade policy and the imported toy safety crisis. Tell the presidential candidates to oppose bad trade deals. Sign the petition here

Dear Fair Trade Supporter,

Toys covered in lead; plastic beads coated in date-rape drugs; kerosene in Halloween toy eyeballs — anxiety levels about toy safety this holiday season are as high as the U.S. trade deficit.

And according to our new report, "Santa's Sweatshop 'Made in DC' by Bad Trade Deals" toy safety problems have skyrocketed as major U.S. toy corporations relocated their production overseas to exploit sweatshop wages in countries where they cannot ensure the safety of the products.

At the same time, toy companies have spent millions pushing for bad trade deals that safeguard their offshoring strategy and impose limits on U.S. safety standards and inspection rates for imported products.

Please help us protect our kids' safety and urge the presidential candidates to oppose trade deals that promote offshoring and place limits on our ability to ensure imported and domestic products meet our safety standards.

Click the link below to sign the petition:
http://action.citizen.org/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=22053

More findings from our new report:

- U.S. toy production has been almost entirely offshored: in the 1970s 86 percent of toys were made domestically employing 60,000 workers. U.S. toy production jobs have declined 70 percent since NAFTA and the WTO were enacted, and over 500 percent from their 1970s levels. Imports now constitute nearly 90 percent of domestic toy purchases.

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Company profits have soared. In the 1970s, toy and retail companies made an average of $50 million in today's dollars. In 2006, that has soared over 1,750 percent to $930 million.

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Toy and retail industry CEO's have been major beneficiaries of corporate offshoring. Three decades ago, CEOs made roughly 50 times what U.S. toy production workers made; in 2006, they make over 500 times what remaining U.S. toy production workers make, and over 21,000 times what Chinese production workers make.

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Recalls have skyrocketed. From 2003 to 2007, the period examined in a new database created for this report, the frequency of dangerous toys sold in the United States skyrocketed, with 120 recalls in 2007 alone.

All these facts tell the same story: while toy industry CEOs and investors have benefited tremendously from corporate offshoring, the safety of our children and the toys with which they play has been systematically compromised.

Our presidential candidates have an important opportunity to highlight the link between the NAFTA-WTO race-to-the-bottom globalization model and toy safety this holiday season. They can make strong statements about how much they care about toy safety, but unless they are willing to change our failed trade policy, it's nothing but talk. Please take a moment today and urge the presidential candidates to stop outsourcing our safety standards.

Sign the petition here: http://action.citizen.org/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=22053

And please forward this alert to all your friends and family!

Happy Holidays,

Global Trade Watch

p.s. To read the full press release or download a full copy of the report, please click here: http://www.citizen.org/hot_issues/issue.cfm?ID=1782

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