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Punto de Vista: Improving Product Safety For U.S., Mexican Consumers

Punto de Vista: Improving Product Safety For U.S., Mexican Consumers
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VOICE: In the twenty years since the adoption of the North American Free Trade Agreement, trade between the United States and Mexico has grown by leaps and bounds, and now exceeds 500 billion dollars in goods annually. U.S. exports to Mexico include corn, soybeans, pork, poultry, eggs and beef, electronics and machinery, vehicles and plastics. In return, Mexico sends to the United States optic and medical instruments, machinery, car and truck parts, mineral fuel and oil. Mexico is also the United States’ second largest supplier of food products, particularly fresh fruits and vegetables. To facilitate the smooth and rapid movement of the variety and volume of goods passing through our common border, the U.S. and Mexican agencies which ensure product safety must work together. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, an agency that protects the public from dangerous consumer products, and its Mexican counterpart, Profeco, recently signed an agreement to help stop health and safety hazards before they become a problem. The two agencies agreed to cooperate on tracking problems and enforcing regulations, to share information regarding public regulation, work together to assess product safety risks. From testing lead paint in toys and children’s products, to ensuring power tools and household chemicals do not create hazards, the two agencies will work together to protect consumers from possible risks.