The Foreign Manufacturers Legal Accountability Act, H.R. 4678, is awaiting consideration by the “lame duck” House when it reconvenes on November 15. Partly in response to several recent recalls of imported goods, the bill would prohibit the importation of consumer products, pharmaceutical products and chemicals into the United States unless the foreign manufacturer of such products has a registered agent in the United States. A registry of these agents would be maintained so that U.S. consumers would be able to pursue products liability or other civil actions against such imports. Foreign companies and importers have opposed the legislation, saying it unfairly increases selling costs and violates World Trade Organization rules, by creating a non-tariff barrier discriminating between U.S. and foreign manufacturers. Proponents, however, counter that the bill would both protect U.S. consumers by holding foreign producers accountable for unsafe products and more nearly level the competitive playing field. The House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection has approved the bill. A companion bill was introduced in the Senate last year and referred to the Senate Finance Committee.