The White House has confirmed the Chinese drywall issue will be brought up during President Obama’s current trip to Asia, signaling the issue is of significant importance to the Administration.
Last month the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and other federal agencies released the initial findings of their testing of defective Chinese drywall. While the CPSC’s initial testing results are largely inconclusive, they did have sufficient evidence to show a strong association between some Chinese drywall and corrosion, according to David Krause, Florida’s state toxicologist, who worked on the CPSC’s report.
And while the report has not yet linked the problematic drywall to any long-term health problems, the report suggested it might cause "neurogenic inflammation," which plays an important role in numerous diseases including asthma, fibromyalgia, eczema, and migraine headaches. Further findings are due later this month, but other results won’t be available until next summer.
While the progress made in the courts shows how essential a strong justice system goes hand-in-hand with government oversight, obstacles still remain to collect any money from a judgment because of the legal hurdles American consumers and businesses face to successfully sue foreign manufacturers.
The Foreign Manufacturers Legal Accountability Act of 2009 (S. 1606) will making it easier to hold foreign manufacturers accountable. The legislation requiring manufacturers to have an “agent” located in at least one state where the company does business that would accept service of process for any civil and regulatory claims. Then companies would consent to state and federal jurisdiction, holding foreign manufacturers accountable to those judicial standards.
When foreign manufacturers are not held accountable to the same standards as American corporations, consumers and American businesses both suffer.