Thursday, March 3, 2011

Our (Unpublished) Letter to the Editor of the New York Times

We sent the following letter to the New York Times in response to their staff editorial opposing reform of the CPSIA. One week later, we have received no response and our letter has not been published--nor has any other response to their extremely shallow editorial.

February 24, 2011

Dear Editors,

The past two years have been heartbreaking. Since the passage of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) in 2008, we've seen dozens of our friends and colleagues lose their family businesses. They were forced to close not because their products were unsafe, but because they simply could not afford the costs of third party testing which is mandated by the CPSIA.

Imagine our dismay this morning when your newspaper described the plight of these families as a “canard”, as a misleading fabrication. Much as we wish that the CPSIA effects on small businesses were make-believe, they are, as your own paper has reported, very real and very painful.

A large multinational company like Mattel can afford to spend a few hundred dollars to test a production run of 200,000 plastic toys in China, but a small-batch toymaker in the US simply cannot afford to spend the same amount on batch of 20. The mathematics of the CPSIA are skewed entirely in favor of big business.

As many Democrats, Republicans and even the CPSC itself has said, we need common-sense reform of the CPSIA which protects small businesses while preserving safety. We hope that your newspaper will look past the canard that this is all “part of a standard antiregulation litany” and appreciate the real effects of the CPSIA on real small businesses owned by real people.

Sincerely,

The Handmade Toy Alliance