Reporting Carey Codd
PARLKAND (CBS4) – A Florida congressman is proposing a bill that would ban Chinese drywall from being imported into the United States.
Congressman Ted Deutch announced the legislation at a news conference Tuesday in Parkland, where many homes were built with the tainted product.
“The families dealing with the havoc of Chinese drywall deserve justice,” Deutch said.
The bill, co-sponsored by a Virginia congressman, would direct the Consumer Product Safety Commission to “declare drywall manufactured in China a banned hazardous product.”
The bill would also urge the Secretary of State to make the Chinese government force the manufacturers of the product sit down and negotiate a settlement with victims.
“One of the most important things that this does is it makes it official United States policy to call to account the Chinese companies and the Chinese government to force them to sit down at the table,” Deutch explained.
Attending the news conference were several victims of tainted Chinese drywall, like Barbara Tutin and her husband. They built their dream home in Delray Beach in 2001.
Tutin said she quickly started noticing the telltale signs of tainted Chinese drywall — like damaged air conditioning coils…a funny odor…and silver items turning colors. She and her husband are suing the makers of the drywall but have gotten nowhere, they said.
“China’s not doing any thing and our government really isn’t doing much,” Tutin said. “We have a lot of people suffering. It’s very frustrating.”
The thousands of victims, like Tutin, whose homes were built with tainted Chinese drywall hope that Congressman Ted Deutch’s proposed legislation will help others from being victimized.
But Tutin is not sure the bill goes far enough. She believes Congress should set aside money for victims to rebuild their damaged homes.
“We bought in good faith,” she said. “This was our retirement home. We can’t afford to move out and rebuild on our own.”
Another thing this bill would do — regulate the way the tainted chinese drywall is disposed of. Deutch says there have been reports that the tainted drywall has made it back into housing products.
Deutch said there is discussion about bringing a similar piece of legislation to the floor of the U.S. Senate.