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China Alleges that a Maryland Bill to Protect Children from Lead Poisoning Could Violate WTO Rules

10 April 08 -- Members of the Maryland House of Delegates requested that the Forum on Democracy & Trade analyze comments filed by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) with the World Trade Organization regarding a bill introduced by Delegate Jim Hubbard.  China asserts that the bill violates WTO rules under the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade.

Delegate Hubbard introduced a bill (HB 8) in 2007 to regulate total lead content in toys, eliciting comment from the PRC.  HB 8 was not passed in the last legislative session, but this year, a House Bill requiring independent testing of toys for lead was passed.  It is now headed to the Governor’s desk.  Indications are that Governor Martin O’Malley will sign it. 

Washington Governor Christine Gregoire signed a bill regulating ‘toxic toys’ last week, and a number of other states are considered similar bills.

Background Documents for the Dispute:

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