Trump Pick to Head Consumer Safety Board is Seen as too Close to Industries

Labor News

Ann Marie Buerkle’s tenure as a commissioner on the board of the Consumer Product Safety Commission has come under fire now that President Trump has nominated her to lead the agency. Consumer advocates worry that Buerkle is too close to industry groups to lead the commission. Credit Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call, via Associated Press

Reprinted from The New York Times by  on December 6, 2017.

Ann Marie Buerkle, a commissioner at the federal agency charged with protecting consumers from hazardous toys and products, has seldom voted for a mandatory recall, a maximum fine or a tougher safety standard.

In more than four years on the Consumer Product Safety Commission, Buerkle has opposed limiting dangerous carbon monoxide emissions in portable generators; resisted requiring safety technology on table saws; and disagreed with the other Republican commissioner on the five-member board by rejecting fines against companies that delayed reporting hazards to the agency, as required by law.

As President Trump’s nominee to head the agency, she is drawing criticism for her positions. Like some Trump administration officials, Buerkle is an unabashed supporter of voluntary regulations, and believes that collaboration with manufacturers, rather than levying fines or imposing recalls, is the fastest way to get dangerous products off the market. “My top goal, of course, is safety,” said Buerkle, the agency’s acting chairwoman, in an interview. …

NY Times 12/6

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Jeff Burman served on the Guild’s Board of Directors from 1992 to 2019. He is now retired. He can be reached at

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