April 21, 2024

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In a letter to the Commerce Department, Democrats said the United States needs a common charger

In a letter to the Commerce Department, Democrats said the United States needs a common charger

A group of Senate Democrats is calling for the US Department of Commerce to take Europe’s approach to forcing all smartphone manufacturers to build devices that adhere to the global charging standard.

In a letter on Thursday Addressing Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, and Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) – along with Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) – they called on the department to develop a strategy that would require a common charging port across all mobile devices.

The message comes a week after EU lawmakers reached agreement on new legislation that would require the supply of all smartphones and tablets USB-C Ports by Fall 2024.

“The EU has acted wisely in the public interest by confronting powerful technology companies on this consumer and environmental issue,” the senators wrote. “The United States should do the same.”

In the letter, the senators argue that proprietary chargers, such as Apple’s Lightning ports, create unnecessary amounts of electronic waste and impose financial burdens on consumers who upgrade devices or who own multiple devices from different manufacturers.

Markey said in a statement to the edge Thursday. “This waste is driving consumers up, and pushing our planet even deeper into the climate crisis. I am asking the Ministry of Trade to follow the lead of the European Union and look for solutions so that we can save our money, our brain and our planet.”

Contrary to EU law, senators do not require the Commerce Department to legalize USB-C as the global charging standard. Instead, their request to create a broader “comprehensive strategy” leaves room for the department to develop its own standards. After the EU mandate, critics have argued that al-Qaeda It would stifle innovation It prevents smartphone manufacturers from developing faster charging standards in the future.

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Asked if senators expect opposition from the tech industry, a spokesperson for Marche said the edge“Big tech companies are sensitive to regulation, and we are already seeing companies resisting EU action. Senator Markey believes that we must continue to stand up to the industry to make sure their concerns do not come at the expense of environmental and consumer well-being.”