CPSIA is sending us to China!

From the if-you-can’t-beat-them-join-them department is Jason Cheung. At least for him, CPSIA has been an unintended blessing. Did Congress intend for us all to move to China? They’ve certainly made the decision easier for Jason who writes:

With all the bad news and negativity surrounding the CPSIA. I’ve actually found a silver lining in it. Our family was recently able to purchase a new home! Unfortunately, that home is in Hong Kong China. How were we able to do that? Well, the rate we were offered is a low 3.5%. What’s even better though is that you can open a bank account and they will give you the same 3.5% interest rate for the money you put in there. Go ahead and read that again. Yes, that’s 0% financing on whatever you have in the bank. In addition to that, we’re also in the process of securing a 3% business loan that the Hong Kong government is offering as a stimulus. Where do you think Hong Kong gets the money for this? Maybe it’s coming from their 16% maximum income tax. How much money would you have left over if the government took only 16% of your wages? It’s actually less than 16%, if you’re married, own a home, etc. Now also imagine almost all the testing fees people are paying being funneled into one city … not a state, but one city. That has got to help. When the CPSIA went through, I never had to wait so long for someone to take my money.

More good news, our company taxes have gone down this year because I sent all my profits back to Hong Kong for safety testing! Hopefully the 8th largest economy in the world (California) can get through a budget crisis without my tax contribution.

Jason Cheung
General Manager
Huntar Company, Inc.

To put this in the proper perspective, here’s the first letter in this series he sent to his representatives in Congress:

My company is family owned, currently run by my brother and I.  We do toy design, wholesale and manufacturing for us as well as other companies.  While there may be good intention, the CPSIA is dangerous and ridiculous.  In today’s economy, this law has already cost my company over $50K.  This does not include any loss sales, potential opportunities, etc.  This is literally only from the cost of testing I’ve incurred as well as other costs, such as increases in insurance.  That in itself increased from $6K to $18K this year.  By the way, 20+ companies wouldn’t even give us a quote, even though we’ve never even had a claim.  Do you know where that $50K came from?   It came from my employee bonuses, money I would’ve used to purchase a new car, money I would have used on new product development with designers and engineers.  Instead, I sent the money to an overseas testing lab to tell me something I already knew.

Because of the manufacturing aspect of our business, we’re constantly exposed to new safety regulations both in the United States and Europe.  To be honest, we’ve already started cutting phthalates and opportunities for phthalates from our business two years ago as it began as an issue in Europe.  We also source paint from Germany to make sure it is consistently lead free.  In addition to these, we inspect supplier factories to ensure we receive safe product.  We also require they provide us with safety testing every 6 months for things such as paint and glue.  By the time I sent samples for CPSIA testing, I had already received tests stating materials were safe, conducted an in house test to verify the tests for lead, and had an existing test showing the completed product was safe.  Regardless, I had to test once again.  That’s correct, some of the inventory I hold has now been tested four times for the same thing.  The best part is, I’m not even finished yet.  I don’t have enough money to continue testing the rest of my line for phthalates in ABS.  FYI, phthalates is a softener used in PVC plastic.  It makes no sense to have it in ABS, but I’ll have to test it anyways.  It’s sort of like testing a rock for lead.  Wait … that’s actually not a good example, because testing labs have told me a rock would never pass.  I guess you can’t really sell rocks either.  Make sure you let playgrounds and schools know to clear their areas and classrooms of any rocks or pebbles.

While I enjoy what I do, if this continues to where it seems to be heading, I will have no choice to stop.  I am not financially able to do what is required by law.  I honestly do not care to be fined into bankruptcy or charged with felonies either.  I won’t go bankrupt, I’ll be ok.  I can still rent out our warehouse or find other means of income.  However, I’m not sure what my employees will do.  In today’s economy, I’m not sure they’ll be re-employed.  If anything, that’s why I think they were ok with paying for some of the required testing.  Then there’s also people we contract out to.  I wonder if the graphic artists we normally pay $20K+ each year will be missing our business.  I suppose the freight/shipping companies can always ship something else too.  To be honest, I don’t have the time to worry about them.  At this point, I’m just hoping I won’t get arrested.

Jason Cheung
General Manager
Huntar Company, Inc.

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Kathleen Fasanella

Kathleen started production patternmaking in 1981. Starting in 1993, she began providing consulting and engineering services to manufacturers, small companies, and startups with an emphasis on developing owner-operator domestic cut-and-sew operations. In 2015 she opened a 5,000 sqft. fully equipped sewing factory: The Sewing Factory School. Kathleen is the author of The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Sewn Product Manufacturing, the most highly rated book of any topic in the garment industry. She's been mentioned numerous times in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, National Public Radio, Boston Globe, LA Times, Vogue, French Vogue and has at least 15 Project Runway alums at last count. Kathleen writes nearly all of the articles on Fashion-Incubator.com and hosts its forum, the largest private online community for apparel manufacturers on the web.

2 thoughts on “CPSIA is sending us to China!”

  1. We needn’t worry about the rocks at the playground. They were already taken away years ago and replaced by soft rubber matting or wood chips. The wood chips get in kids’ shoes and stick to their pants and sweaters and give everyone splinters. But hey, the chance a kid might cut his knee on a rock is now zero!

    CPSIA is just the latest in a string of laws to protect our precious snowflakes from the vicissitudes of childhood. I will do everything I can to assure that this trend stops HERE and NOW.

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