Toxic Trade

As American consumers buy a sharply increased share of their goods from overseas, the American government has been cutting back its ability to regulate and inspect imports. Americans consumers are thus exposed to increasing numbers of products that were neither produced in America nor subject to American safety standards. The results put people at risk.

Our report, “Toxic Trade: Globalization and the Safety of the American Consumer,” documents these two trends. Government statistics show that imports have increased by 338 percent since 1974, the year the Consumer Product Safety Commission was created. Yet the budget for that agency today is less than half what is was in that year. In effect, we have been disarming our ability to protect ourselves, even as the need to do so has been soaring. Our report concludes that it is past time for a change.