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Congressional Research Service, “Health and Safety Concerns Over U.S. Imports of Chinese Products: An Overview,” January 13, 2009

Wayne M. Morrison wrote this Congressional Research Service report.
January 13, 2009

China is a major source of U.S. imports of consumer products (such as toys) and an increasingly important supplier of various food products. Reports of unsafe seafood, pet food, toys, tires, and other products imported from China over the past year or so have raised concern in the United States over the health, safety, and quality of imported Chinese products. This report provides an overview of this issue and implications for U.S.-China trade relations and will be updated as events warrant.

From the introduction:

In 2007, China overtook Canada to become the largest source of U.S. imports (at $322 billion); accounting for about 17% of all U.S. imports. Over the past year or so, numerous recalls and warnings have been issued by U.S. firms over various products imported from China, due to health and safety concerns. This has led many U.S. policymakers to question the adequacy of China’s regulatory environment in ensuring that its exports to the United States meet U.S. standards for health, safety, and quality; as well as the ability of U.S. government regulators, importers, and retailers to identify and take action against unsafe imports (from all countries) before they enter the U.S. market.

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