Interesting opinion article in the Mercury News, written by professors of law at University of California - Berkely.
2 of their opinions made me react :
1. First on the FDA implementation in China :
I can only agree.. Though this FDA move is a clear improvement in the collaboration at state levels between the US and China on the products quality and safety issues, it is only symbolic in my opinion, and won't have much concrete consequences...
2. Then, our 2 professors have an interesting proposal :
This is an interesting one, and I agree that there is much to be done at a legislative level in western countries to impose stricter supply chains to local companies. However, I would add that it is important to understand the supply chain itself, and who should hold the highest liability when unsafe imports are put on western markets.
My point is that it is easy to blame it on the Importer - often a SME - when he is only repercuting the cost pressure he gets from the final distributor (big retail groups) on his own Chinese or Asian suppliers. Ultimately, the real decision makers on the quality of imported goods are often big corporate retailers, who won't deal direct with Chinese factories, and who transfer the liability and risk of importing to smaller specialists importers.
So who should pay when something goes wrong ? And, more importantly, who should pay to make sure everything goes right (by implementing for ex. systematic quality controls at the source) ?