Many products manufactured outside the United States are sold in the United States. Additionally, U.S. companies frequently outsource the production of certain components to companies in foreign countries. While it is possible to sue a foreign corporation for a defective product, the requirements of proper legal procedure are sometimes extensive.
Because the number of exports to the United States has increased significantly in the last decade, the U.S. government has entered into agreements with several countries to help ensure the safety of exported products. In 2005 the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) signed agreements with the governments of Canada and Mexico to improve the safety of products imported to and from both countries. These agreements were designed to build on the North American Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP), signed earlier that year by the United States, Canada, and Mexico. (The SPP is a more broadly based agreement that calls for improved security to keep borders free from terrorism but open to trade.) In 2006 the CPSC signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the government of India to improve the safety of consumer exports to the U.S. This agreement includes exchanging product safety information and providing training programs that focus on safety issues. (In 2004, India imported $8.3 billion worth of consumer goods to the United States.)