Taking their cue from the lawmakers of the European Union reaching a deal to force all smartphones and tablets to have USB-C charging ports by 2024, a group of lawmakers in the United States of America are now looking to implement a similar mandate in their country.
A group of Democrats and a few Independent political leaders have called on the U.S. Commerce Department to follow the EU’s lead and “to develop a strategy to require a common charging port across all mobile devices.”
The letter was addressed to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and was authored by Ed Markey, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders, three American political leaders who have been very vocal about a number of environmental concerns and consumer issues.
“The EU has acted wisely in the public interest by taking on powerful technology companies over this consumer and environmental issue,” the senators wrote. “The United States should do the same,” stated their letter.
This move would be a big step towards combating e-waste and would obviously hit Apple the hardest as it has been using its proprietary lightning cable for many of its devices since it was introduced alongside the iPhone 5 in 2012.
“Year after year, Americans pile our outdated chargers onto landfills while we shell out more money to tech companies for new ones,” Markey said in a statement on Thursday. “This waste is driving consumers up the wall, and it’s driving our planet deeper into a climate crisis. I’m asking the Department of Commerce to follow the lead of the European Union and look into solutions so that we can save our money, our sanity, and our planet,” he added
The Americans have a slightly different approach when compared to their EU counterparts. Instead of codifying USB-C as the definitive standard when it comes to charging, they’re asking the Commerce Department to create a “comprehensive strategy” moving forward.
This basically means, that if better technology is available in the next couple of months, then that should be set as standard.
Apple apologists have often stated that the EU’s ruling is a horrendous mistake and that enforcing USB-C would be a disaster for the environment.
They have also claimed that this legislation stifles innovation and stops smartphone manufacturers from advancing faster-charging standards in the future.
All of these arguments failed to pass muster with the legislators at the EU and were chucked out immediately. In the meantime, reports have emerged that claim that Apple is planning on going completely portless by 2024 when the EU’s legislation becomes enforceable.
“Big Tech is allergic to regulation, and we’re already seeing companies push back on the EU’s action. Senator Markey thinks that we have to continue to stand up to this industry to make sure their interests don’t come at the expense of environmental and consumer wellbeing,” a spokesperson of one of the senators said when asked about potential pushback from the tech industry.