Manufacturers Do an About Face: They Now Want Regulations

Posted on Sep 25, 2007

After many years of preferring a hands-off approach from the government, many of the largest industries in the nation are pushing for something they have resisted for a long time:

New federal regulations.

Industries responsible for products such as toys, cars, antifreeze, fireworks, popcorn, produce, cigarettes, and light bulbs, among others, have started to call for federal mandates on health, safety, and environmental concerns. Many of these industries spent years trying to block such measures, believing them to be costly and unnecessary.

It is not yet clear what the consequences for consumers are, as the shift from these industries is believed to be one of self-interest. The need for a change in tactics arose from the rise in competition from cheaper imports that do not meet voluntary standards, and as a pre-emptive measure against liability lawsuits for defective products.

Response from the government for these movements, however, has been relatively slow, which is frustrating to many of the businesses. These pre-emptions could bar consumers from being able to file liability claims in a court of law as well as supplant any tougher state regulations, which are protections major manufacturers find to be extremely valuable. Many businesses are seeking out these pre-emptions. However, many of these clauses are being challenged in court.

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