Inez Tennenbaum, chair of the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission, plans to ask Chinese government authorities to help pay for the damage to U.S. homes caused by Chinese-made defective drywall. Tennenbaum is traveling to China next week for the biennial U.S.-China products safety summit. She will also discuss possible regulatory standards for drywall composition with Chinese officials.

To date, Tennenbaum’s agency has fielded approximately 1,500 reports of the defective drywall from homeowners in 27 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, and is investigating the fumes released by the drywall that have been blamed for health problems and corroding electrical wiring and pipes. It is believed that as many as 100,000 homes across the country may be affected by the tainted drywall. One consulting firm estimates the cost to fix drywall damage to be between $15 billion and $25 billion.

The defective drywall issue surfaced after a number of recalls for Chinese-made toys were issued two years ago. As a result, Congress passed a new law with tougher safety standards for toys.

Tennenbaum is hoping to create a partnership with China to help implement U.S. safety standards. During her trip to the country, she will tour manufacturing plants, testing facilities, and participate in product safety panel groups.

For the full story, go to the Wall Street Journal.