Contact: Adrienne Appell

Bipartisan “Congressional Toy Caucus” Launched on Capitol Hill

Washington, DC | September 19, 2013 – The Toy Industry Association (TIA), the not-for-profit trade association representing all businesses involved in creating and bringing toys and youth entertainment products to kids of all ages, announced that a newly-formed, bipartisan “Congressional Toy Caucus” launched September 18 on Capitol Hill.

Co-chaired by Congressman Ron Kind (D-WI) and Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), the Toy Caucus was created to engage lawmakers in a constructive dialogue about issues currently facing the U.S. toy industry and the important role that toy businesses have in the development and education of children around the world. Members of Congress who have toy companies in their districts and / or have an interest in the toy industry have been invited to participate in the Caucus.

“Members of the Toy Caucus recognize the toy industry’s significant impact on the U.S. economy and the critical role of play in the lives of children,” said Congressman Kind.  “We look forward to working with representatives of the industry to advance discussions on topics ranging from toy safety and the value of play to the growth of small toy businesses and the increase of free trade opportunities in foreign markets.”

“The Toy Caucus will be a strong voice in promoting excellence within the toy industry,” added Congresswoman Blackburn. “There is a lot of creativity and innovation that supports this nearly $22 billion industry and we want to ensure its continued success for American families and toy businesses of all sizes.”

The U.S. toy industry sold 3 billion toys in 2012, and directly employs approximately 320,000 individuals; more than 30 percent of those jobs were created by small businesses. The industry also takes great pride in its development of the first comprehensive national toy safety standard more than 40 years ago and its continuing leadership in maintaining the standard, which is now referenced in the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) passed by Congress in 2008.

“The Congressional Toy Caucus is a powerful forum to raise the level of awareness that federal government officials have about the toy industry, toy companies, and the work we do with children,” said Ed Desmond, TIA executive vice president of external affairs. “We are thrilled to recognize Representatives Blackburn and Kind as the inaugural co-chairs of the group and thank them for their support.”

The Congressional Toy Caucus was launched at TIA’s 6th Annual Washington, DC Fly-In (September 17-19) on Capitol Hill.  Throughout the week, toy companies are meeting with federal policymakers to underscore the impact that their policy decisions have on real people and real companies.

The initial members of the Congressional Toy Caucus (as of September 19, 2013) are: Ron Kind, Co-Chair (D-WI), Marsha Blackburn, Co-Chair (R-TN), Bob Latta (R-OH), Lee Terry (R-NE), David Cicilline (D-RI), Ron Barber (D-AZ), Jim Cooper (D-TN), Susan Davis (D-CA), and Erik Paulsen (R-MN).