Letter to the Editor -- Strict Standards Needed on ATVs Made in China

June 18, 2007

Your article on the Consumer Product Safety Commission's recent warning over ATVs (all-terrain vehicles) imported from China ("Chinese ATV Is Called Hazardous," Politics & Economics, June 6) aroused my interest. During a meeting of the China-U.S. Interparliamentary Conference in Washington, I urged members of the National People's Congress, led by Sheng Huaren, vice chairman of the Secretary-General Standing Committee, to establish strict safety standards for ATVs exported to the U.S. Our delegation cautioned that Congress stands ready to enact restrictions on ATV imports if such standards aren't established by the People's Republic of China.

This issue was discussed at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing last month, and I am working with Sen. Mark Pryor of Arkansas on legislation to improve safety standards for ATVs sold in the U.S. We hope to convince Congress to approve legislation directing the Consumer Product Safety Commission to address this pressing issue. Regardless of where ATVs are made, strict safety standards are necessary.

As important as it is to ensure safe ATVs, it is also essential for the Senate to approve a chairman for the commission, which can only fulfill its duty of protecting consumers from unsafe products when it is fully operational.

Sen. Ted Stevens (R., Alaska)