Senator Calls for "Import Czar"

After several incidents in which unsafe goods made their way to the U.S. from China, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., wants to combine agencies regulating imports under one "czar."

Published on: Jul 5, 2007

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., is calling on Washington to create the office of "import czar" to protect the United States from unsafe products following a spate of harmful imports from China.

A staunch critic of China, Schumer wants the czar situated in the Commerce Department, and with direct oversight of the safety of imported goods, a task he says the Food and Drug Administration and other federal bodies have failed to perform properly.

"There are more than a half dozen federal agencies responsible for monitoring, testing and blocking dangerous tainted shipments," Schumer says. "This maze includes cabinet level departments, independent agencies and administrations within executive agencies, all operating with different regulations, rules and protocols."

Schumer says an import czar would coordinate and monitor the daily efforts of the different federal agencies charged with protecting consumers from unsafe imports.