Lawmakers Say The US Needs A Standard Charger

Following European Union lawmakers reaching a deal to force all smartphones and tablets to have USB-C charging ports by 2024, a trio of senate democrats is looking to implement a similar mandate in the US. As reported, these democrats have called on the US Commerce Department to follow the EU’s lead and “develop a strategy to require a common charging port across all mobile devices.”

Senators Who Proposed This Mandate

The letter, which was addressed to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, was penned by Senators Edward J. Markey and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, and Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

EU Making USB-C Charger Mandatory For All Portable Devices

Last week, the EU agreed to rules which will take effect by the fall of 2024, which would allow consumers to only use a USB Type-C cable to recharge small and medium-sized portable electronics.

Reasons Behind Mandating A Standard Charger

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

“Year after year, Americans pile our outdated chargers onto landfills while we shell out more money to tech companies for new ones,” Markey said in a statement. “This waste is driving consumers up the wall, and it’s driving our planet deeper into a climate crisis.

Difference Between EU Agreement And Senators’ Demand

Unlike the EU law, the senators are not requesting that the Commerce Department codify USB-C as the universal charging standard. Rather, their request to create “a comprehensive strategy” is broader, leaving room for the department to develop its own standard.

What Do Critics Have To Say About This?

As some critics of the EU mandate say this rule could “stifle innovation and inhibit smartphone manufacturers from advancing faster-charging standards in the future.”

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