CLB’s own Steve Dickinson was interviewed today on National Public Radio’s (NPR) Marketplace show regarding China product safety. The segment was entitled, “China Not Manned Enough for Safety.” The interview was quite short and its transcript follows:

Scott Jagow: Typically, a company like Disney licenses its characters to toy manufacturers. Those toy companies are then in charge of making sure the products are safe.

Well, not anymore. Disney plans to tell toymakers today it’s gonna do its own testing. Plus, on the retail end, Toys “R” US will start doing random checks this week, sending toys off to an independent laboratory. These new precautions are, of course, in response to Mattel’s huge recalls of toys made in China.

In Washington today, the Consumer Product Safety Commission holds a hearing on this. And safety regulators from Beijing will be there. More now from our China correspondent, Scott Tong.

Scott Tong: Chinese regulators have sat on the hot seat for months, facing demands that they ensure the safety of all Chinese exports. But:

Steve Dickinson: The Chinese government doesn’t have the power, or the manpower, to do that.

Scott Tong: That’s China attorney Steve Dickinson from the international law firm of Harris Bricken. He says in China’s decentralized economy with thousands of suppliers, Beijing has a limited means to carry out its mandates.

Dickinson thinks responsibility lies with the U.S. toy companies who can often dictate prices to their Chinese suppliers. Lately, he thinks those multinationals have pushed those prices down too far.

Steve Dickinson: If you’re in business, you know if the price is too low. And if you know the supplier can’t make it, then you also have to know the supplier’s doing something to survive.

Scott Tong: For instance, cutting corners and substituting unsafe materials like lead paint.
In Shanghai, I’m Scott Tong for Marketplace.

For more on Steve’s views on China, check out this post on the Transnational Law Blog, entitled, “Steve Dickinson Discusses China Law.

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Photo of Dan Harris Dan Harris

Dan is a founder of Harris Bricken, an international law firm with lawyers in Los Angeles, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, China and Spain.

He primarily represents companies doing business in emerging market countries, having spent years building and maintaining a global, professional network. 

Dan is a founder of Harris Bricken, an international law firm with lawyers in Los Angeles, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, China and Spain.

He primarily represents companies doing business in emerging market countries, having spent years building and maintaining a global, professional network.  His work has been as varied as securing the release of two improperly held helicopters in Papua New Guinea, setting up a legal framework to move slag from Canada to Poland’s interior, overseeing hundreds of litigation and arbitration matters in Korea, helping someone avoid terrorism charges in Japan, and seizing fish product in China to collect on a debt.

He was named as one of only three Washington State Amazing Lawyers in International Law, is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory (its highest rating), is rated 10.0 by AVVO.com (also its highest rating), and is a recognized SuperLawyer.

Dan is a frequent writer and public speaker on doing business in Asia and constantly travels between the United States and Asia. He most commonly speaks on China law issues and is the lead writer of the award winning China Law Blog. Forbes Magazine, Fortune Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, Investors Business Daily, Business Week, The National Law Journal, The Washington Post, The ABA Journal, The Economist, Newsweek, NPR, The New York Times and Inside Counsel have all interviewed Dan regarding various aspects of his international law practice.

Dan is licensed in Washington, Illinois, and Alaska.

In tandem with the international law team at his firm, Dan focuses on setting up/registering companies overseas (via WFOEs, Rep Offices or Joint Ventures), drafting international contracts (NDAs, OEM Agreements, licensing, distribution, etc.), protecting IP (trademarks, trade secrets, copyrights and patents), and overseeing M&A transactions.