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From Products Liability Law Daily, August 1, 2014

Kaye sworn in as CPSC Chairman; pledges collaborative leadership approach

By Pamela C. Maloney, J.D.

Elliot F. Kaye was sworn in on July 31, 2014, as the 10th Chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). President Barack Obama nominated Mr. Kaye on March 31, 2014, and he was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on July 28, 2014, to a term that expires in October 2020. Also sworn in as a new Commission was Joseph P. Mohorovic. His term is set to expire in October 2019. (CPSC News Releases, Nos. 14-426 and 14-427, July 31, 2014)

Mr. Kaye identified three major areas of focus that will advance what he called “his collaborative leadership approach.” “First, we will further harness the experience and expertise of CPSC staff and safety experts in the private sector to achieve more safety advancements for the American public.” To accomplish this, Mr. Kay said that CPSC will attempt to work even more closely with industry and voluntary standards organizations to develop standards for products not covered by any standard and enhance standards that have not kept pace with advances in safety technology.

Second, Mr. Kaye emphasized that he will continue to prioritize brain safety in youth sports during his tenure. Mr. Kaye has been widely recognized for having played a key role in coalescing the leading organizations and companies in American football around a common goal of creating a culture change to reduce the risk of brain injuries in youth football.

Third, Mr. Kaye remains committed to strengthening CPSC’s line of defense at U.S. ports to keep dangerous imports out of the hands of unsuspecting consumers. He stated, “CPSC works closely with foreign regulators, manufacturers, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection to emphasize that goods intended for our marketplace must meet U.S. safety standards. If there is a failure in the supply chain, we want to catch the dangerous toy, cigarette lighter, firework, or clothing before it reaches stores shelves. We will continue to work with the Congress, federal agencies, and the trade to greatly expand that number of shipments that CPSC investigators inspect at the ports. Through our risk management system, we will detect and detain more violative and dangerous products by using data, advanced technologies, and well-trained staff. Importantly, we will also seek to increase the flow of compliant goods, increase confidence in the marketplace, and increase consumer safety.”

Chairman Kaye announced that he will be transparent and accessible in directing the operations of the agency, and he will expand our use of open data and social media to connect with and empower consumers and businesses.

Mr. Kaye had served as CPSC’s Executive Director from 2013 until his confirmation as Chairman. Previously at CPSC, Mr. Kaye served as Chief of Staff and Chief Counsel to former Chairman Inez Moore Tenenbaum in 2013, Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Counsel to the Chairman from 2012 to 2013, and as Senior Counsel to the Chairman from 2010 to 2012. He has been the driving force behind many of the agency’s most successful initiatives in recent years, including efforts aimed at addressing the chemical burn hazard to young children from the ingestion of coin cell batteries.

MainStory: TopStory CPSCNewsStory

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