Democrats think Americans need a unified charger port just like Europe
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Democrats think Americans need a unified charger port just like Europe.
A group of Senate Democrats has called on the U.S. Commerce Department to follow Europe’s lead and force all smartphone makers to make devices that adhere to common charging standards.
In a letter to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo on Thursday, Senators Ed Markey (D-MA) and Sens.
Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) requested The division developed a strategy to unify a common charging port for all mobile devices.
The letter comes a week after EU lawmakers reached an agreement on new legislation to force all smartphones and tablets to have USB-C ports by autumn 2024.
The senators wrote: “The EU is sensible and in the public interest in confronting powerful tech companies on this consumer and environmental issue.
The US should do the same, with this waste caused by non-uniform charger port specifications.
It’s putting consumers in a bind, and it’s driving our planet deeper into the climate crisis.”
In the letter, the senators argue that proprietary chargers like Apple ‘s Lightning port create unnecessary e-waste and impose a financial burden on consumers who upgrade their devices or own multiple devices from different manufacturers .
“Year after year, Americans dump our outdated chargers in the trash while we pay tech companies more money for new ones,” Markey said in a statement Thursday.Waste is trapping consumers and plunging our planet deeper into the climate crisis. I ask the Department of Commerce to follow the EU’s lead and work on solutions so we can save our money, our sanity and our planet.”
Unlike EU law, the senators did not require the Commerce Department to codify USB-C as a universal charging standard.
Instead, their demands for a “comprehensive strategy” were broader, leaving room for the department to set its own standards.
Following the EU mandate, critics argued that the rule would stifle innovation and inhibit smartphone makers from pushing ahead with faster charging standards.
Asked if the senators expected pushback from the tech industry, a spokesman for Markey said: “Big tech is sensitive to regulation and we’ve seen companies push back against EU action.”
Councillors believe we must continue to stand by the industry and ensure their interests are not at the expense of the environment and consumers.”
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