Lawmakers say the US needs a standard charger

After European Union lawmakers reached an agreement to force all smartphones and tablets with USB-C charging ports by 2024, a group of Senate Democrats wants to implement a similar mandate in the US

As The Verge reports, these Democrats have called on the US Department of Commerce to follow the EU’s lead and “devise a strategy to require a common charging port for all mobile devices.”

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The letter, addressed to Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, was authored by Ed Markey (D-MA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

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

This move would be a big step in the fight against e-waste and would obviously hit Apple the hardest, since Apple 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 are piling our obsolete chargers in landfills while we tech companies spend more money on new ones,” Markey said in a statement to The Verge on Thursday. “This waste is driving consumers skyrocketed, and it is driving our planet deeper and deeper into a climate crisis. I call on the Department of Commerce to follow the example of the European Union and look for solutions so that we can save our money, our sanity and our planet.”

The US Senate Democrats’ plan differs slightly from the EU’s as they do not ask the Commerce Department to codify USB-C as the universal charging standard. Instead, it urges them to develop a “comprehensive strategy” for the future.

There are those opposed to the move, as some critics of the EU mandate say the rule could “stifle innovation and prevent smartphone makers from pushing faster charging standards in the future”.

“Big tech is allergic to regulations and we are already seeing companies taking action against what the EU is doing. Senator Markey believes we must continue to oppose this industry to ensure its interests do not come at the expense of the environment and consumer welfare,” a spokesman told Verge when asked about possible tech industry resistance.

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Adam Bankhurst is a news writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamBankhurst and further Pull out.