Fifth Annual Washington, DC Fly-In Brings Together Policymakers and Toy Industry

Did You Know?

The U.S. toy industry’s annual total economic impact in the U.S. is nearly $80.9 billion. Individual economic impact reports for each state can be found in the Toy Biz section of the TIA website.  

May 21, 2012 | Representatives of 31 small, mid-size and large toy companies made their way to the nation’s capital last week to attend the Toy Industry Association’s (TIA) 5th Annual Washington, DC Fly-In. The nearly three-dozen delegates met with federal lawmakers and regulators to discuss the toy industry’s unique legislative needs and the vital role that it plays in the U.S. economy.

Held on May 15-16, the 2012 Fly-In began with a tour of a Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Testing Lab and a peek inside the Beltway during a speech delivered by political commentator Chris Matthews, host of The Chris Matthews Show and MSNBC’s Hardball.

Special guest Anne Northup (R-KY), CPSC Commissioner and former Member of Congress, set the tone for a day on Capitol Hill with her opening remarks, counseling Fly-In participants to be clear in their messages to federal legislators. Commissioner Northup highlighted the event as an important opportunity for lawmakers to hear directly from their constituents and urged participants to tell lawmakers about the impact that potential legislation could have on their businesses.

On Capitol Hill, an incredibly busy day unfolded with nearly 25 small group meetings of toy industry stakeholders with Senators, Representatives and their staffs.  There was an active exchange of information about key topics ranging from toy safety and chemical regulations to environmental sustainability and protecting the privacy of children online.

“I felt so privileged representing TIA and walking in the footsteps of American history on Capitol Hill,” said Dr. Lisa Williams, CEO of World of EPI.  “Meeting with politicians and their aides was among the highlights of the day.”

In addition to the CPSC commissioner and legislator meetings, formal remarks from other special guests during the event included Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT); Kevin Brady (R-TX), Chairman of the House Ways & Means Subcommittee on Trade; Staff Director of the House Ways & Means Committee; and staff from the Senate Commerce Committee.

“TIA’s Fifth Annual Washington, DC Fly-In was a huge success for everyone who attended,” said Ed Desmond, TIA executive vice president of external affairs.  “Our loaded schedule featured highly regarded speakers and one-of-a-kind opportunities for participants to engage directly with Washington policymakers in small group meetings.”

Photos of the 2012 Fly-In will be made available on the TIA website in the next few days; details about the 2013 event will be announced in early 2013.