It Is A Level Regulatory Playing Field

football_field-963.jpgAs The Pop Tort blog reminds us, the US Chamber of Commerce is once again banging the drum of how overregulation and American litigiousness are supposedly hurting businesses’ competitiveness. It’s a familiar refrain.
We’ve heard it before from businesses large and small: if only the lawyers would get off our backs, we’d be world class competitors!
Granted we’ve seen an explosion in government regulation in the past century or so. And Americans, much as they despise lawyers as a class, are not lawsuit averse.
But what is missing from the tort reformers’ arguments are any explanation of how America’s legal landscape hurts the competitiveness of American businesses. It’s a level regulatory playing field. The same regulations that apply to American businesses apply to Chinese businesses or German businesses doing business in the United States.
It’s no more legal for a Chinese manufacturer to sell toys with lead paint than it is for an American toy company to do so. The cost of such a regulation affects Chinese manufacturers the same way it affects American manufacturers. It’s a level regulatory playing field.
As Toyota can tell you, as it fends off dozens of Sudden Uncontrolled Acceleration (“SUA”) lawsuits for defects in its cars, American law applies to other foreign corporations too. It’s a level regulatory playing field, which is something the tort reformers would like you to forget as they throw a pity party for American businessmen.
Granted, Chinese companies might not have to contend with some of the OSHA and EPA regulations that American companies do. But Americans also enjoy a greater quality-of-life because of those laws and regulations.
And the level of American regulation pales in comparison to some very competitive countries. You don’t hear Mercedes-Benz complaining, “We can’t compete; we have to give health care and paid vacation to our workers!”
The next time you hear some tort reformer bemoaning the effect that our legal system has on the competitiveness of American companies, remember this: Tort reform is just the excuse of failing and struggling businesses.

This blog in maintained by the Boston personal injury lawyers at The Law Office of Alan H. Crede, P.C.