Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Press Release: HTA sees new momentum as they prepare to testify; endorsing new bill amending the CPSIA

The Handmade Toy Alliance (HTA) will testify at the upcoming Congressional hearing on April 7, 2011 regarding a discussion draft to amend the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) from the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade. HTA Founder and Vice President, Dan Marshall (Peapods Natural Toys -MN) is set to testify on behalf of the HTA and its members endorsing the progress this new bill proposes. Board members Rob Wilson (Challenge and Fun – MA) and Randall Hertzler (euroSource – PA) will accompany Marshall at the hearing and attend legislative visits.

During the last year the HTA and its members have continued to work diligently, to bring meaningful discussion and reform to the CPSIA. The proposed amendment is seen as a step in the right direction toward reaching a middle ground, and ultimately saving many small businesses from the unintended consequences of the CPSIA. HTA Board member Jill Chuckas (Crafty Baby – CT) states, "While this new bill does not give us everything we've been asking for, we believe it saves most of our member businesses from extinction."

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The bill focuses on several key issues that give way to reducing the financial burden the original law inflicted on small businesses. Hertzler comments, “Rather than requiring third party testing for every children’s product, the bill seeks to restore the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC's) ability to set its own priorities, allowing the Commission to define specific categories for specific tests, in areas where the benefits from required third-party testing justify the costs.”

The movement towards reform gives the HTA a new wave of momentum as they prepare to travel to D.C. in support of the reform bill. Marshall announced, "The Handmade Toy Alliance plans to endorse this bill both for its text and also for the context we hope it will create—a bipartisan and bicameral dialog which quickly leads to meaningful reform of the CPSIA."

The HTA was formed in November of 2008 in response to the CPSIA, and consist of 643 member businesses, including retail stores, toymakers and children's product manufacturers from across the country who want to preserve consumer access to unique handmade toys, clothes and all manner of small batch children's goods in the USA.

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