China, U.S. Holding Product Safety Summit

Chinese government officials in charge of product safety convene a summit in Washington with the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The meeting comes amid product recalls and growing scrutiny of China's vast export machine.

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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

Chinese government officials are in Washington today for a summit with the Consumer Product Safety Commission. This meeting comes amid growing scrutiny of products that China sends here.

NPR's Adam Davidson reports.

ADAM DAVIDSON: The meeting was planned two years ago. It was supposed to be a quiet, obscure coming together of bureaucrats. But then 2007 became the year of China product recalls. In the last few months, there have recalls of Chinese-made tires, Chinese fish, Chinese pet food, and of course several recalls of Chinese-made toys coated in lead paint. All of these recalls have focused unprecedented attention on the previously little known-world of government product safety experts. Today's sessions are all private and behind closed doors. But tomorrow is public and organizers now expect a strong media turnout, especially for the Tuesday morning signing ceremony.

The heads of the U.S. and China safety commissions will announce a new agreement between the two countries on product safety. No word yet on just what the agreement will cover. The rest of the day will be spent discussing in detail how best to make safe toys, cigarette lighters and fireworks. Later, a group of private sector representatives will discuss how they can work more closely with the U.S. and Chinese governments to ensure product safety.

Adam Davidson, NPR News.

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