November 24th, 2007
08:07 AM ET
7 years ago

Clinton takes on China's toxic toys

Sen. Clinton announced a toy safety agenda Friday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – On one of the biggest shopping days of the year and the historical start of the Christmas shopping season, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, announced a toy safety agenda she would implement if elected to the White House.

“As the holiday shopping season begins, our government should be taking immediate action, decisive steps to ensure that the toys we are importing from China and other countries are safe,” Clinton said in a statement released Friday.

While Clinton noted many recent recalls of toys manufactured in China, the Democratic White House hopeful also placed responsibility on American companies that purchase toys from China and other countries. “They have to do a better job at every stage of the process, from design through production and shipping, to make sure that the toys they are bringing into this country – and profiting from – do not pose risks to children,” Clinton’s statement said.

Clinton’s toy safety agenda includes imposing obligations on American companies that import toys; requiring independent, third-party testing of toys; increasing the number of product inspectors; instituting a complete ban on lead in products intended for children; and increasing enforcement of civil and criminal penalties for violations of consumer product safety laws.

- CNN Associate Producer Martina Stewart

Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (108 Responses)
  1. EE

    Hey Hilary On trouble again. Zogby Polls released two days ago showed Clinton lost 10 points to Mr Obama and Edwards nationally. 38% to 27 % 14%

    As an Observer, my advice to Hilary people is not to panick. Her recent attacks on Mr Obama backfired big time

    Her untrusthworthiness is spreading.Do something about it else it could be messy with Obama rising power but no mud pls

    November 24, 2007 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  2. A. Thomas, New York, NY

    The guilty party is not china, but the American manufacturers and importers which avoid the American strict labour and environmental laws by offshoring the manufacturing facilities there. They exploit the Chinese workers and pollute the Chinese environment. They should have enforced the high product quality standard for their Chinese products, but didn’t. The American manufacturers and importers pocket the profits from these low quality goods.

    You get what you pay in life.

    November 24, 2007 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  3. Jack, Fort Myers, FL

    All of the agencies that protect us...consumer product safety, FDA...have been short staff, underfunded, and neglected far too long by the current administration. These domestic protection programs–are just as critical as our defense–but way under Bush's radar==of course until there is a problem. I believe like Hillary–we could use fewer advanced tactical fighters and other high cost hardward, in favor of spending more of our Tax Dollars on domestic and social issues. And NEVER<EVER outsourceing those functions to a profit driven entity–whose motivation is not public safety–but greed and shareholders.

    November 24, 2007 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  4. Robin, Montpelier, VT

    You got to be kidding me...Hillary is unreal – First is the Saudi Rape Case – This was a spot where Hillary could get more female votes since it made huge news (what about other the countries that profess the same standard for women???) and now the chinese toy issue...ummm hasn't this been an issue for awhile, why on the first day of the big shopping season does Hillary strut out and claims something has to be done?...get real Hillary, I see right through you. She is getting desparate.

    November 24, 2007 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  5. Jack, Fort Myers, Fl

    We are all to blame for Chinese imports. We love the low cost...nobody cries when a tool factory is closed and all the tools now come from China–we scarf those cheap products up from Wal-Mart with nary a tear for the 2000 people who lost their well payed jobs and are now selling those tools to us in Wal-Mart. Yes, Clinton did give most favored trading nation status to China. But ALL the Agencies that were responsible for monitorng our safety during his administration–received a much large percent of tax dollars and had more authority than today. Check the records–today domestic/social programs like public health, food safety, condumer product safety, all are struggling, understaffed and underbudgeted...while the population and number of imported products as skyrocketed...particularly in the LAST THREE the last of America's manufacturing jobs...trickle over to China. Get a one person is to blame...we're all guilty. Nothing
    s free. Good paying jobs, or a safe nation–a good government must be funded. And we're paying way too much towards defense and corporate welfare.

    November 24, 2007 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  6. Lou Tulsa Ok

    What an opportunistic sham. This woman has no shame. What has she been doing in the Senate while these toys have been coming here for years? She, along with the rest of our esteemed elected officials should have stepped in when the problem was first identified, not just now when it is convenient for her.

    It never ceases to amaze me how low the opinion of our elected officials is when it comes to us, the Americans who foolishly send them to Washington in the mistaken belief they will actually do what we're paying taxes to have them do. Dump all of them and start over.

    November 24, 2007 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  7. Terry, El Paso, TX

    There is no reason for federal action to protect children from lead-painted toys. Let the free market handle it! As consumers purchase toys that kill their children, they will gradually learn to buy toys elsewhere. Then, those stores that sell lead-painted toys will see that they are losing customers and start ordering different brands of toys.

    Also, the "lead poisoning" issue is based on junk science promoted by left-wing think tanks. Lead is actually good for children, promoting athletic skills and reducing attention deficit disorder. A study by the Lead Institute definitively proved that more studies are needed before anyone can claim that lead is the least bit harmful.

    All action by any level of government is by definition incompetent. If we pass a thousand pages of laws restricting the importation of lead-painted toys, we are putting up barriers to free trade. This will result in the loss of American jobs and a reduction in American wages. Only a socialist would want that to happen.

    November 24, 2007 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  8. Shawnie - Grants Pass, OR

    Wow, you think? Months after the fact and she's on it. We really need a president like this!

    November 24, 2007 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  9. matt

    It's pure political pandering, but somebody's gotta do it. Could this help with the "family" vote?

    November 24, 2007 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  10. joseph, austin,tx

    Why is she just addressing this last I check she is still a senator who can introduce legislation, now, to inact these measures to protect us. Politics as usual.

    November 24, 2007 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  11. Steve in SC

    Yo Hillary,

    You want to be impressive? Go to China with that speech. Now that would be impressive! Heck, I might even have to vote for you!

    November 24, 2007 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  12. Daniel, NY

    In good news for Hillary, she has a massive lead in a new primary poll of Nevada - which, you might remember, votes on January 19th.

    November 24, 2007 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  13. Desiree, Queens, New York

    We can blame Bill Clinton for this all we want but Bush has been the president since 2000 and he should have made sure that inspectors were there doing there job and if not end the trade. Where are inspectors that the trade agreement says are suppose to be there? Instead of trying to change things in the Mid East maybe Bush could hold China to the agreement, why must we wait until a Democrat goes to the White house to make sure that our children toys are safe.

    November 24, 2007 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  14. Michael, MN

    The sad thing about these dangerous toys coming out of China is that it took so much for people to look in their own backyard to find excellent wood toy producers like my father who has dedicated 30 years of his life to making toys. Let's hope that people will now make wiser choices about toy purchases and then it won't be necessary for the government to step in.

    November 24, 2007 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  15. alan St Louis MO


    after that speech she went behind stage and got her china money for her campaign and her personel bank account.

    China wants her elected, America is upset with China toys. SO by bashing China., She is increasing her chances of becoming a China PAWN (President).

    China is not Dumb they know American histroy and politics better then the average American.
    Dont belive it go compare China kids on education compared to American kids. If it is Xbox, or MYspace we got em beat. If it is Math science, history china kids blow our kids to dust.

    November 24, 2007 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  16. Bob, Roxboro, NC

    Once again the interests of business must be protected above all.

    When we shoppers get a raw deal from a vendor, we do not continue to patronize that vendor. But to a politician who must protect the interests of businessmen, the solution is never so straightforward.

    Just reverse the trend of unfair trade deals and pull our manufacturing back from the Chinese. Too simple eh? Too beneficial to American working men and women eh?
    Yesterday I listened to Bush villify Castro for being communist. But embracing communists with missles still pointed at us is just dandy.

    These guys give me a headache!

    November 24, 2007 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  17. Jose Card

    CNN Anchor Lou Dobbs has been the leader in alarming American public on the imported toxic Chinese toys and foods, and calling for the administration and Congress’ attention to this problem. Hearing Senator Clinton talking about fighting Chinese toxic toys now makes me wonder if Hillary has got permission from the Chinese to fire at them in order to impress American voters for her win-win presidential election. Google Clinton and one of the following names: John Huang, Norman Hsu, Ma Paw, Danny Lee, and many more, and you will be surprised at what you find.

    Democratic fundraiser Norman Hsu was arrested on 09/07/2007, and Hillary had to return his donations of nearly one million dollars. It is unclear how he had earned so much money for campaign donations as he was never a successful businessman. PA Governor Rendell, NM Governor Richardson, NY Governor Spitzer and Senator Obama all received donations from Hsu. In NYC Chinatown, Hillary also received laundered Chinese donations that cannot be traced. How could the Chinese restaurant workers afford to give her $1,000 apiece? The Clinton campaign collected $380,000 from NY Chinatown one day in April. We should also check to see if any of these $1,000 apiece donors are on food stamps or Medicaid. I don’t know if non-citizens are allowed to contribute to any of our campaigns. It should be illegal if U.S. is an independent country. More details on illegal donations can be found below:,8599,1679979,00.html?xid=rss-topstories

    In August 2007, Democratic Senators Durbin, Nelson, Schumer and Klobuchar urged CPSC action on Chinese toxic toys. Why hasn’t Senator Clinton been involved in solving the toxic Chinese imports problem till her lead is narrowed? Is she desperate now? I am not convinced by the sparring appearance between the Clintons and the Chinese based on their mysterious money trails and Lincoln Bedroom sleepovers.

    Mattel executives actually apologized to the Chinese government for their design flaws. Had Mattel designed lead toys or toys with small parts? Had Mattel invested all their eggs in one nest – China? They deserve China.

    Senator Clinton either doesn’t know how to operate a business even after working for Wal-Mart, or she made the statement just for political advantage. It takes months in advance to secure materials, manufacture and ship toys across the Pacific. Her anti-Chinese toys statement is way too late. This may show that she lacks executive experiences. How is she qualified to be our commander-in-chief as timing is utterly critical for military and diplomatic operations? There is absolutely no room for waffling.

    November 24, 2007 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  18. Carol Knoxville TN

    Hillary Clinton is correct we need to hold the companies accountable for the toys they purchase and send into this country for our children. She is absolutely correct! She is one to get this changed along with many other ideas.

    Posted By Carol Knoxville TN

    November 24, 2007 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  19. Tired of Corruption LV

    Since Clinton depends on China for a large part of her political war chest, do you really think she is going to bite the hand that donates so much money to her campaign.

    She waited until the start of the Christmas shopping season to make her statement, when this has been going on for months. As usual she probably waited for the polls to come out before committing to a stand – which she will ultimately parse into oblivion when it comes to acting on it.

    We misunderstood what we thought she meant. She will again be the victim of a massive conspiracy.

    November 24, 2007 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  20. Dorian, Brentwood, CA

    There is absolutely nothing in Hillary's statement that should evoke such venom. Just goes to show that Republicans are haunting the blogs night and day, waiting to pounce on anything she says. It's obvious their opinions are straight out of the Republican talking points they've been issued and asked to promote. For the record, Hillary is NOT Bill. Like it or not, what happened under his watch 10 years ago is irrelevant to her. What a bunch of mindless, stupid toadies!

    November 24, 2007 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  21. Tom Dedham, Mass

    Put down the envelopes stuffed with illegal chineese money, stop campaigning for a few days and draft something that will get your ideas put into law, at least put your money where your fat mouth is.

    Ready to lead, don't think so Hillarity, you are a follower who has NO original ideas as they are all at best BORROWED from other people.

    If you have these great ideas, why wait till your President, your still cashing a check as a Senator, do your job.

    November 24, 2007 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  22. Dan, TX

    I like Obama's plan to use the same inspection that other countries have in place to ensure safety. Why does America lag behind? Oh yeah, we are a poor country, we can't afford it. Er, I mean, no new taxes!

    November 24, 2007 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  23. Dan, TX

    Posted By Daniel, NY : November 24, 2007 10:24 am

    Says that the latest NV poll is good for Clinton. It shows the same lead in the democratic primary so far. BUT the same poll has her losing or tied with the top republicans running. OBAMA is leading all of the head-to-head vs. republican polls. This NV poll shows that Obama is the most electable democrat running. Between now and Jan 19, Nevada will begin to see the candidates more and start paying more attention. Those polls will start to shift away from Clinton, just as they have been doing in Iowa and New Hampshire. As in independent voter, I will vote straight ticket, if Clinton is the nominee, it will be a republican ticket for me.

    November 24, 2007 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  24. Chris, Pensacola FL


    You need to be a man. Stand up, beat your chest, and cast away your feminine ideas.

    November 24, 2007 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  25. Eli, Canada

    You don't import only toys from China. You also import 'brains'.. who do you think are your computer programmers and scientists? Mathematics and science are hard for the American-born youth – more interested in shopping and TV. So, don't complain and don't throw mud to the Chinese to cover your inability at least to control the imports. You rely too much on them.
    So don't blame Hillary Clinton for taking a correct position – you need trade, you need 'brains', just be at least capable to select. (BTW, I am not Chinese)

    November 24, 2007 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
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