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Friday, November 23, 2007

OH-05 Dem Weirauch: Flawed Trade Policies Allowed Toxic Toys

TOLEDO (TDB) -- Democratic congressional candidate Robin Weirauch chose a crowded shopping area near a Toys R Store to denounce trade policies that have delivered "a lethal bill of goods" to U.S. stores and consumers. Weirauch spoke on Black Friday, the first day of the Christmas shopping season, and said too many imports -- including toys from cheap-labor Asian factories -- are shoddy, dangerous and have been made with toxic substances like lead. She said officials in Washington have either ignored the problem or looked the other way.

Weirauch wants consumer products safety to become a major issue and also urges families to shop for American-made goods whenever possible.

"Our manufacturing jobs have been shipped to places like China and India, and what do we get in return? Shoddy, unsafe toys that pose life-threatening consequences for our children. In fact, 80 percent of the toys bought in the United States are imported from China, and the vast majority of these toys are never being inspected."

Weirauch is trying to capture a traditional GOP seat in a conservative district. She faces Republican Bob Latta in a Dec. 11 special election to fill Ohio's vacant 5th Congressional District seat. It was held by Paul Gillmor, an entrenched and popular GOP veteran who died in a household accident last September. She pulled 43% of the vote against him in 2006. Weirauch has begun hammering on the trade issue across the NW Ohio district. The criticism plays well in Ohio, where more than 200,000 manufacturing jobs have been lost this decade. She contends trade agreements such as NAFTA have undercut the state's economic base while flooding U.S. markets with toxic goods.

"I know one thing for sure, when these products were made in America, we didn't have to worry about toxic toys. When our toys were made right here in Ohio, our kids were safe. Washington is broken, and the way this crisis has been handled is all the proof we need. Like Ohioans, I was absolutely stunned to learn that the Consumer Product Safety Commission has only one person testing toys being shipped to the U.S. Washington put a single person in charge of making sure that toxic toys never made it to the shelves . . ."

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