WASHINGTON — Sens. Mark Pryor (D., Ark.) and Daniel Inouye (D., Hawaii) introduced legislation Wednesday to overhaul the Consumer Product Safety Commission and provide more protection for imported children's products amid a growing debate over contaminated and defective Chinese imports.
Pryor detailed the bill at a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing, where senators questioned CPSC commissioners and top executives from Mattel Inc. and Toys 'R' Us about tainted toy recalls and the need for stricter testing, enforcement, standards and penalties for children's lead-paint toys and jewelry.
While the Congressional debate primarily has focused on Chinese imports of food and children's products, apparel importers are concerned the heightened attention on product safety may lead to stricter product safety regulations and requirements for all apparel, more scrutiny of cargo containers and the imposing of user fees on companies that import products from China.
The bill authorizes additional funding for the agency, which implements regulations on imported consumer products, including apparel and textiles. Apparel importers already must meet strict CPSC standards on flammability and drawstrings.
The legislation would make more funds available to the agency to increase staff levels to at least 500 employees by 2013, improve "antiquated" testing facilities and boost the number of CPSC agents at U.S. ports. It authorizes funding levels for seven years starting at $80 million in 2009 and increasing at a rate of 10 percent a year through 2015. Another $20 million would be set aside in the 2008 and 2009 fiscal years to upgrade labs, and $1 million would authorize research on safety of nanotechnology products.
Pryor said in a statement that he is concerned that the CPSC's abilities have "deteriorated" partly because staff levels have been reduced from 900 in the early Eighties to about 400 full-time employees.
The legislation also proposes increasing civil penalties to $250,000 per violation with a cap of $100 million, and raises criminal penalties to five years in jail for those who "knowingly and willingly" violate product safety laws. The measure also would make it illegal for retailers to sell recalled products, require independent safety certification on every children's product that enters the U.S. and require manufacturers to label children's products with tracking information to facilitate a recall.
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion