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FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION (FTC)
Statement of Regulatory Priorities
I. Regulatory Priorities
The Federal Trade Commission is an independent agency charged with 
protecting consumers and businesses from unfair, deceptive, and 
anticompetitive practices.
Although the agency pursues its mandate primarily through case-by-case 
enforcement of the Federal Trade Commission Act and other statutes, 
regulation is an important complement to this law enforcement effort, 
particularly with respect to consumer protection matters. Commission 
regulations generally are intended to ensure that consumers receive the 
information necessary to evaluate competing products and make informed 
purchasing decisions.
The Commission's regulatory efforts for 1994 will encompass 
consideration of new regulations, modification of existing regulations, 
and elimination of unneeded regulations. With respect to new 
regulations, the Commission has been directed by Congress in the Energy 
Policy Act of 1992 (EPA 92) to establish uniform labeling requirements, 
if practicable, for alternative fuels (i.e., automotive fuels other 
than gasoline and diesel, such as compressed natural gas, ethanol, and 
electricity) and for vehicles that use alternative fuels. The statute 
provides generally that the rule must require disclosure of 
``appropriate'' cost and benefit information to enable consumers to 
make reasonable purchasing choices and comparisons.
The Commission published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking on 
December 10, 1993 (58 FR 64914), and a notice of proposed rulemaking on 
May 9, 1994 (59 FR 24014). This proceeding is expected to generate 
considerable interest because of the diverse industries affected by the 
rule. In July 1994, the Commission convened a public forum with a 
neutral facilitator to obtain additional public participation in the 
rulemaking process and to gain the unique perspectives that interaction 
among interested parties can provide. EPA 92 requires the Commission to 
issue a final rule by May 9, 1995. EPA 92 also requires the Commission 
to adopt a rule requiring lamp products to be labeled with the 
information necessary to enable a consumer to select the most energy 
efficient lamp that meets the consumer's requirements. The Commission 
approved this rule on April 25, 1994. In this proceeding, the 
Commission held a public forum to stimulate broader public interest and 
involvement. A similar forum was held for the alternative fuels 
rulemaking.
Also, the Commission recently has been directed by Congress in the 
Telemarketing and Consumer Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act to issue a 
rule prohibiting deceptive and abusive telemarketing acts and 
practices. The Act specifies that the rule contain a definition of what 
constitutes deceptive telemarketing acts and practices, which may 
include credit card laundering as well as other acts of assisting or 
facilitating deceptive telemarketing. The purpose of the rulemaking is 
to provide consumers with protection from telemarketing deception and 
abuse. It is anticipated that the Commission will issue a notice of 
proposed rulemaking in February 1995. The statute requires the final 
rule to be promulgated within 365 days from the date of enactment.
With respect to rule modifications, the Commission plans to seek 
comment later this year regarding possible amendments to its Care 
Labeling Rule (16 CFR 423 (1994)). This rule requires manufacturers and 
importers of textile wearing apparel to attach care labels to garments 
(for example, dry clean only). The rule currently requires the 
instructions to be in words, but allows symbols to be used in addition 
to words. The FTC will seek comments respecting the desirability of 
using symbols in lieu of words. Symbols could make care instructions 
more understandable to non-English-speaking consumers, and thus not 
only better serve a significant minority of American consumers, but 
also enhance the prospects of export to and import from Mexico and 
Canada, consistent with the goals of the North American Free Trade 
Agreement. The Commission issued an advance notice of proposed 
rulemaking on June 15, 1994 (59 FR 30733).
The FTC is also committed to eliminating unnecessary rules and 
regulations. To this end, the Commission this year is seeking 
information regarding the costs and benefits of 11 of its trade 
practice rules and voluntary industry guides. (See 59 FR 2955, January 
20, 1994.) This assessment is part of the Commission's ongoing program 
to review all of its rules and guides every 10 years to determine 
whether they should be retained, modified, or repealed. Since the 
beginning of this fiscal year, the Commission has repealed three guides 
and one rule as a result of this program. (See 59 FR 8527, February 23, 
1994, announcing repeal of the Guides for the Greeting Card Industry 
Relating to Discriminatory Practices, and repeal of the trade 
regulation rule on Discriminatory Practices in Men's and Boy's Tailored 
Clothing Industry, 16 CFR parts 244 and 412; and 58 FR 68292, December 
27, 1993, announcing repeal of the Guides for Advertising Fallout 
Shelters, and Guides on Radiation Monitoring Instruments, 16 CFR parts 
229 and 232.)
With regard to both content and process, the FTC's ongoing and proposed 
regulatory actions appear compatible with the President's priorities. 
Substantively, the actions under consideration seek primarily to inform 
and protect consumers and reduce the regulatory burdens on business. 
The Commission's efforts this year under EPA 92 also serve to promote 
environmental protection and conservation of energy resources. 
Additionally, the Commission's ten-year program for reviewing its 
existing regulations is in harmony with Section 5(a) of Executive Order 
12866 (September 30, 1993; 58 FR 51735), which directs Executive branch 
agencies to develop a plan to reevaluate periodically all of their 
significant, existing regulations. Procedurally, the Commission also 
continues to focus substantial attention on aspects of the regulatory 
process that Executive Order 12866 seeks to promote: identifying and 
weighing the costs and benefits of proposed actions and possible 
alternative actions, and receiving the broadest practicable array of 
comments from affected consumers, businesses, and the public at large. 
In sum, therefore, the Federal Trade Commission's regulatory actions 
are aimed at efficiently and fairly promoting the ability of ``private 
markets to protect or improve the health and safety of the public, the 
environment, or the well-being of the American people.'' Executive 
Order 12866, Sec. I.
II. Regulatory Actions
The regulatory efforts described in this Plan are not ``significant 
regulatory actions'' as that term is defined in Executive Order 12866. 
The Commission nonetheless includes them because their effects will be 
widespread and of substantial practical value to businesses and 
consumers, and because they provide examples of the Commission's 
anticipated regulatory activities for fiscal year 1995.
_______________________________________________________________________
FTC
            ___________________________________________________________
PROPOSED RULE STAGE
            ___________________________________________________________
207. THE CARE LABELING RULE
Legal Authority:


 15 USC 41 et seq


CFR Citation:


 16 CFR 423


Legal Deadline:


None


Abstract:


The Care Labeling Rule requires manufacturers and importers of textile 
wearing apparel to attach cleaning instructions stating what regular 
care is needed for the ordinary use of the product. The Care Labeling 
Rule currently requires that care instructions be stated in 
``appropriate terms.'' The rule also states that ``any appropriate 
symbols may be used on care labels or care instructions, in addition to 
the required appropriate terms, so long as the terms fulfill the 
requirements of the regulation.'' The rule does not specifically state 
that the instructions must be set forth in English. The goal of the 
North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is to establish a trade 
zone in which goods can flow freely between Canada, Mexico, and the 
United States. Both Canada and Mexico, however, require that garments 
containing instructions in English also contain instructions in French 
or Spanish, respectively. Thus, textile industry members are concerned 
about the length of care labels that contain instructions in three 
languages. Although manufacturers could separately label garments for 
each of these three countries, this would increase the costs and reduce 
the advantages of a large free trade zone. These manufacturers, 
therefore, propose to use care symbols in lieu of care language.


Statement of Need:


In addition, environmentalists are interested in reducing the use of 
dry cleaning solvents. There is some evidence indicating that some 
solvents may be damaging to the environment. The Care Labeling Rule 
currently only requires either a washing instruction or a dry cleaning 
instruction; it does not require both. Thus, some garments that are 
labeled ``dry clean'' may also be washable, and if the rule required 
both washing and dry cleaning instructions for these garments, some 
members of the public might use dry cleaning solvents less frequently. 
The Commission does not know at present the incidence with which 
garments that can be both dry cleaned and washed are labeled only with 
dry cleaning instructions. The Commission has solicited comment on 
whether it would be desirable to allow the use of symbols in lieu of 
language on care labels; on whether, and under what circumstances, it 
is desirable to require washing instructions as well as dry cleaning 
instructions; and in general, on the costs, benefits, and regulatory 
and economic impact of an amended Care Labeling Rule.


Summary of the Legal Basis:


No aspect of this action is required by statute or court order. The 
Commission has solicited comment on these issues as part of its ongoing 
program to review periodically all its rules and guides. Any amendment 
of the Care Labeling Rule will be undertaken pursuant to the general 
authority granted to the Commission by the Federal Trade Commission 
Act, 15 U.S.C. 41 et seq. If the Commission decides to amend the rule, 
the Commission will determine whether that action must be undertaken 
according to the extensive rulemaking procedures mandated by section 18 
of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 57a, or whether other procedural approaches 
are available and appropriate.


Alternatives:


In considering whether the rule should be modified to permit the use of 
symbols in lieu of language, the Commission will consider all existing 
systems of symbols for care labeling and will seek comment on the 
benefits and burdens associated with each system. In considering 
whether the rule should be modified to require a washing instruction in 
addition to a dry cleaning instruction, the Commission will solicit 
information as to the extent of the impact of the care label on the 
incidence of dry cleaning, and the costs and benefits to consumers of 
washing rather than dry cleaning certain fabrics. The Commission will 
also consider any comments relevant to the rule suggesting alternative 
ways of reducing the environmental damage that has been associated with 
PCE.


Anticipated Costs and Benefits:


In the notice requesting comment, the Commission requested information 
about the costs and benefits of the possible changes to the rule.


Risks:


Perchloroethylene (PCE), the most commonly used dry cleaning solvent, 
has been designated as a hazardous air pollutant under Section 112 of 
the Clean Air Act and under many State air toxics regulations. On 
September 15, 1993, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) set 
national emission standards for new and existing PCE dry cleaning 
facilities. EPA's Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics has been 
working with the dry cleaning industry to reduce human exposure to PCE. 
EPA and the dry cleaning industry are also collaborating on a Cleaner 
Technologies Substitute Assessment (CTSA) for the industry, and as a 
part of this collaboration, EPA has published a summary of a cleaning 
process known as Multiprocess Wet Cleaning. This process relies on the 
application of heat, steam and natural soaps to clean clothes that are 
typically dry cleaned. If the Commission finds that a significant 
number of washable garments are labeled only with a ``dry clean'' 
instruction, changing the rule to require that care instructions state 
whether the garment can also be washed might reduce risks to public 
health, safety, and the environment, by encouraging dry cleaners to use 
multiprocess wet cleaning, and where appropriate, by encouraging 
consumers to wash, rather than dry clean, certain garments.


Timetable:
_______________________________________________________________________
Action                                 DFR Cite

_______________________________________________________________________
Publication of A59 FR 30733                                    06/15/94
Comment Period Closes                                          10/15/94
Commission Determination                                       01/00/95
Small Entities Affected:


Undetermined


Government Levels Affected:


None


Agency Contact:
Constance Vecellio
Care Labeling Rule Coordinator
Division of Enforcement
Federal Trade Commission
Washington, DC 20580
202 326-2966
RIN: 3084-AA54
_______________________________________________________________________
FTC
208. LABELING REQUIREMENTS FOR ALTERNATIVE FUELS AND ALTERNATIVE-FUELED 
VEHICLES
Legal Authority:


 42 USC 13232(a)


CFR Citation:


 16 CFR 309


Legal Deadline:


 NPRM, Statutory, April 25, 1994. Final, Statutory, May 9, 1995.


Abstract:


Section 406(a) of the Energy Policy Act of 1992 (``EPA 92''), Public 
Law 102-486, 106 Stat. 2776 (1992), directs the Commission to issue a 
rule establishing uniform labeling requirements for alternative fuels 
and alternative-fueled vehicles. The Act does not specify what 

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