US senators urge Commerce Department to follow EU standard charger policy

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Last week, the European Parliament made it mandatory for all small and medium-sized consumer electronics to be equipped with a USB-C charging port. Now, an open letter from two US senators to the Commerce Secretary urges a similar policy in the United States.

The letter, authored by Senators Edward J. Markey and Elizabeth Warren, voices the need to adopt the standardized charging port, citing environmental damage from e-waste, economic harm to consumers, and planned obsolescence of the device. consumer electronics.

the European Union (EU) has just passed important legislation requiring electronics manufacturers to adopt a common charger for mobile devices across the EU.1 We commend the Department of Commerce for the measures it has already taken to address these issues, 2 and we urge you to follow the EU’s lead in developing a comprehensive strategy to address unnecessary consumer costs, reduce e-waste and restore reason and certainty to the process of purchase of new electronic devices.

The letter explains that having to pay for specialized charging can be a “financial burden” and that innovation should benefit consumers and “should not come at their expense, burden them with incompatible accessories and force them to buy a different charging equipment for each device they own.”

European legislation will come into force in the fall of 2024 and will require all small and medium-sized electronic devices to use the USB-C charging port. This includes all smartphones, tablets, portable speakers, e-readers, portable game consoles, cameras and headphones. Laptops will also fall under this new law, but will not come into force until 40 months after the law comes into force for small electronic devices.

The letter concludes: “We urge you to coordinate with Department of Commerce offices and agencies to develop a comprehensive plan that will protect both consumers and the environment by addressing the lack of a common pricing standard. in the USA”.

Apple is clearly the company most affected by this policy change. The company has reportedly already tested a USB-C charging port for a future iPhone, although it’s unclear whether it will arrive with 2023 iPhones or 2024 iPhones.

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