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China Threatens U.S. State Legislature on Lead Tainted Toys Bill

Posted by Author on February 12, 2008

By Annapolis Notebook, The Washington Post, U.S. Sunday, February 10, 2008-

When he introduced a bill in the Maryland General Assembly to prohibit the sale and manufacture of children’s toys containing lead, Del. James W. Hubbard (D-Prince George’s) said he could not have imagined it would set off a transcontinental diplomatic dispute.

But that’s what has unfolded.

Last week, the legislature received a letter from officials of the People’s Republic of China objecting to Hubbard’s bill. The comments, faxed from Beijing and written in English and Chinese, challenged the authority of the state legislature to enact such laws and said they would create “unnecessary barriers to international trade.”

It’s true that many of the lead-containing products recalled in recent months have been made in China. But how did the Chinese government catch wind of Hubbard’s bill, which hasn’t even advanced out of the House Health and Government Operations Committee?

It turns out that an official at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative tipped it off about the bill’s international trade ramifications. Hubbard wrote a sharply-worded letter last week to Ambassador Susan C. Schwab in the trade office:

“We cannot understand why any representative of the United States Government would suggest to a foreign government that it become involved in the legislative process of the State of Maryland,” Hubbard wrote.

Hubbard said the Chinese government’s position should not be a factor in Annapolis.

“I’ve got a billion and a half people opposed to a bill that’s going to pass,” Hubbard said, referring to China’s population. “We represent the citizens of the state of Maryland. I don’t worry about what the Chinese government thinks.

“They think this is a barrier to international trade. I view this as a public health issue.” …… (more details from the Washington Post)

One Response to “China Threatens U.S. State Legislature on Lead Tainted Toys Bill”

  1. iblosted said

    why of course china has the right to send us dangerious toys, of course they dont want the states to pass laws against it,
    well go ahead an stop exporting to the usa, then call in that 9.1 billion in T notes ya have. its only worth t paper any way .

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