Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) has had enough of the uncertain quality that has surfaced recently involving imported products from China. Schumer wants Washington to create the office of "import czar," to better protect U.S. consumers from unsafe products regardless of where they originate. The enormous volume of products that enter the United States from all parts of the world and U.S. consumers' desire for low-cost goods has raised import activities to mind-boggling levels.
China is most on Schumer's mind for now. He wants the czar positioned within the Commerce Department, and given direct oversight of the safety of imported goods. He charges that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, as well as other federal bodies have failed to perform these tasks.
"There are more than a half dozen federal agencies responsible for monitoring, testing and blocking dangerous tainted shipments," Schumer say. "This maze includes cabinet-level departments, independent agencies and administrations within executive agencies, all operating with different regulations, rules and protocols."
Schumer argues that an import czar would coordinate and monitor daily activities to the various federal agencies charged with protecting U.S. consumers from unsafe imports, reports Meatingplace.com.
Meanwhile, Chinese officials are working to revise and tighten its food-safety protocols, following international outcry after a growing number of problems, beginning with the pet-food contamination that surfaced earlier this year.