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Congress looks to hold foreign manufacturers to higher standards

Thousands of products are made in foreign countries and then shipped to the U.S. for consumption. Unfortunately, in some cases, these products are not properly made and some contain unsafe substances. Many product manufacturers seem to make these items with little or no care about the consumer. If a person in Nashville has been affected by a manufacturing defect from a foreign-made product, it can be difficult to hold the maker responsible.

Now congress is trying to help remedy that problem by introducing the "Foreign Manufacturers Legal Accountability Act". The bill would require any foreign company that does business in the U.S. to have an agent in each state its products are sold in. The establishment of such an agent would enable consumers to pursue legal action against a foreign manufacturer when the consumer suffers an injury from an unsafe product. With legal responsibility placed on the foreign companies, U.S. consumers will likely be safer from manufacturing defects, dangerous products and negligent manufacturing.

Products that are made in America must be produced at a high standard and manufacturers are held to many government-enforced safety regulations and requirements. However, because foreign product manufacturers can't be monitored like they are in the U.S., some feel that many of these foreign companies aren't concerned about complying with the proper safety measures.

When products have design or manufacturing defects, it is often the consumer who pays the price. Therefore, lawmakers would be wise to take a careful look at this bill and examine the positive effects it could have on the prevention of manufacturing and selling of defective and unsafe foreign products.

Source: The Madison Record, New Push to Hold Foreign Manufacturers Accountable for Defective Products," Andrew Cochran, May 17, 2013

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