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From Products Liability Law Daily, September 23, 2013

Toy industry launches congressional toy caucus

By Joseph Bichl

The Toy Industry Association (TIA) has announced a newly-formed congressional toy caucus, a bipartisan effort intended open communication lines between the toy industry and legislators in Washington, D.C. (Toy Industry Association, September 19, 2013). The caucus has invited members of Congress who have toy companies in their districts, as well as those with an interest in the industry, to participate. The TIA stated in a news release that it hopes to “engage lawmakers in a constructive dialogue about issues currently facing the U.S. toy industry and the important role that toy businesses have in the development and education of children around the world.”

The caucus will be co-chaired by Reps. Ron Kind (D-Wis.) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.). Other members will include Reps. Bob Latta (R-Ohio), Lee Terry (R-Neb.), David Cicilline (D-R.I.), Ron Barber (D-Ariz.), Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.), Susan Davis (D-Calif.), and Erik Paulsen (R-Minn).

“Members of the Toy Caucus recognize the toy industry’s significant impact on the U.S. economy and the critical role of play in the lives of children,” said co-chair Rep. Kind. “We look forward to working with representatives of the industry to advance discussions on topics ranging from toy safety and the value of play to the growth of small toy businesses and the increase of free trade opportunities in foreign markets.”

“The Toy Caucus will be a strong voice in promoting excellence within the toy industry,” added Rep. Blackburn. “There is a lot of creativity and innovation that supports this nearly $22 billion industry and we want to ensure its continued success for American families and toy businesses of all sizes.”

In 2011-2012, the TIA contributed $14,000 to congressional candidates, including the two co-chairs of the caucus, Reps. Kind and Blackburn, who received $1,500 and $1,000, respectively. In addition, the TIA spent more than $250,000 on lobbying in 2012, and $393,328 in 2011, according to the Center for Responsive Politics at http://www.opensecrets.org.

In 2012, the U.S. toy industry sold 3 billion toys and directly employed some 320,000 individuals, according to the TIA release. The industry currently maintains a toy safety standard it developed 40 years ago and which is now referenced in the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA).

Companies: Toy Industry Association

MainStory: TopStory IndustryNewsStory ChildrensProductsNews

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