President Bush Issues Executive Establishing Interagency Import Safety Interagency Working Group
In response to the recent concerns over the safety of imports from China, on July 18, 2007 President Bush issued Executive Order 13439 establishing an interagency Working Group on Import Safety. The Working Group will be chaired by the Secretary of Health and Human Services. The Working Group's mission is "to identify actions and appropriate steps that can be pursued, within existing resources, to promote the safety of imported products", including the following:
- Reviewing or assessing current procedures and methods aimed at ensuring the safety of products exported to the United States, including reviewing existing cooperation with foreign governments, foreign manufacturers, and others in the exporting country's private sector regarding their inspection and certification of exported goods and factories producing exported goods and considering whether additional initiatives should be undertaken with respect to exporting countries or companies;
- Identifying potential means to promote all appropriate steps by U.S. importers to enhance the safety of imported products, including identifying best practices by U.S. importers in selection of foreign manufacturers, inspecting manufacturing facilities, inspecting goods produced on their behalf either before export or before distribution in the United States, identifying origin of products, and safeguarding the supply chain; and
- Surveying authorities and practices of Federal, State, and local government agencies regarding the safety of imports to identify best practices and enhance coordination among agencies.