Many products consumed these days, from children’s toys to medicines, are made in countries where, often, manufacturing standards are almost nonexistent. Therefore, when products have defects, it is extremely difficult to hold these foreign companies responsible in the United States’ Court System. The consumer would have to travel to the country and rely on that country’s government to serve processes on the manufacturer and translate all documents into that language.
When Congress returns from its break in September, lawmakers will consider legislation called the Foreign Manufacturers Legal Accountability Act ("FMLAA"), which would even the legal playing field. The act would cover “consumer products regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission ("CPSC"); drugs, devices and cosmetics that are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration; biological products as defined by the Public Health Service Act; as well as chemical substances that are defined by the Toxic Substances Control Act.” It would also require foreign companies have representatives in the United States where legal papers can be served. Surprisingly few legislators have expressed opposition to this legislation so far.