The Interagency Working Group on Import Safety reports that there is an increasing volume of imports entering the U.S. and last year the U.S. imported nearly $2 trillion of goods through more than 825,000 importers. By 2015, the value of imports is anticipated to triple. Acting on the Working Group's recommendations, on November 6, 2007, President Bush proposed that various steps be taken to improve the import safety system, including:
- authorizing the FDA to pursue mandatory recalls of food products when unsafe food poses a threat of serious health consequences or death and where a firm either refuses to undertake a voluntary recall or is not acting with sufficient speed;
- increasing the presence of U.S. inspectors abroad and training for foreign inspection agencies; and
- creating a stronger certification process to foster compliance with U.S. safety standards while facilitating trade.
President Bush's proposal requires approval by Congress. For more information, please see the Working Group's web-site at http://www.importsafety.gov/.
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