CPSC Signs Cooperative Memorandum of Understanding with Mexican Government to Improve Safety of Consumer Products in Both Countries

December 07, 2005
Release Number: 06-045

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) today announced an agreement with the Mexican government aimed at further improving consumer safety and making both the United States and Mexican marketplaces among the safest in the world. This agreement is also part of the "Security and Prosperity Partnership" between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada.

CPSC Chairman Hal Stratton and Carlos Francisco Arce Macías, Federal Attorney for Consumer Protection of the United Mexican States (Profeco), signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at a ceremony in Bethesda, Md. The agreement calls for both agencies to work toward reducing product-related deaths and injuries in both countries, by exchanging information about product recalls, violations of federal safety laws, and enforcement actions. In addition, CPSC and Profeco will share scientific data, information on emerging hazards, safety research, hazard reduction strategies and notification of changes in product safety laws. The agreement also calls for both agencies to share inspection and laboratory test results, when appropriate.

"Many of the consumer products made or assembled in the U.S. and Mexico are exported into the marketplaces of each country," said Chairman Stratton. "Since imports play such a significant role in the American marketplace, we believe that working directly with government agencies in other countries is one of the most effective ways to ensure the safety of products made abroad and intended for U.S. store shelves. This agreement will help both safety agencies promote trade, ensure compliance with product safety laws, identify dangerous products faster and save lives and prevent injuries in both countries."

"In our respective countries, we are all committed to work in support of the development of effective and comprehensive consumer policies that allow consumers to fully exercise their right to safety when acquiring products," said Federal Attorney Arce.

Mexico is an important trading partner and producer of consumer products under CPSC jurisdiction. It is the second biggest exporter of consumer products to the United States, after China. In 2004, according to the U.S. International Trade Commission, 10.7 percent of all imports of products under CPSC's jurisdiction came from Mexico and were valued at $55.2 billion – an 80 percent increase since 1997.

The CPSC/Profeco MOU is a "key milestone" of the Manufactured Goods Working Group of the "Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP)," announced earlier this year by President George W. Bush, Mexico President Vicente Fox, and Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin. The SPP is a trilateral effort to increase security and enhance prosperity among the three countries through greater cooperation and information-sharing. As a key milestone of the SPP, U.S. and Mexican officials agreed to "finalize and sign a Memorandum of Understanding…to enhance and strengthen the exchange of information and existing public health and safety protection cooperative activities related to the safety of consumer products."