Senate Democrats press Commerce for plan on common mobile charger
Senate Democrats are urging the Commerce Department to develop a plan that would allow consumers to use a common charger for mobile devices, following in the footsteps of a European Union law.
Democratic Sens. Ed Markey (Mass.) and Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) and Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.) sent a letter to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo Thursday asking the department to address the lack of interoperability among chargers.
The issue places a financial burden on consumers, forcing them to “frequently” pay for “new specialized charging equipment” for different devices. And it leads to environmental harm by producing electronic waste that can spread toxins when not disposed of properly, they wrote.
Earlier this month, EU officials agreed to a rule that would require a common charging port for all mobile phones, tablets and cameras in the EU by 2024.
“The United States should do the same,” the senators wrote.
The update will make the USB-C the common charging port, which will largely impact Apple because it uses its own signature charging port that differs from many non-Apple devices.
“This policy has the potential to significantly reduce e-waste and help consumers who are tired of having to rummage through junk drawers full of tangled chargers to find a compatible one, or buy a new one. The EU has wisely acted in the public interest by taking on powerful technology companies over this consumer and environmental issue,” Sanders, Warren and Markey said in the letter.
Apple, a California-based company, has pushed back on the EU effort to create a standard charging port. In comments provided to the EU before the agreement was reached, it argued it would stifle innovation.
Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.