What Businesses Need to Know About Making Made in USA Claims
Consumers who see "Made in USA"
on a product expect the claim to be truthful and accurate. Since the
terrorist attacks of September 11, news reports suggest that consumers are
more sensitive to "Made in USA" claims and more interested in buying
According to the Federal Trade Commission, "Made in USA" means that "all
or virtually all" the product has been made in America. That is, all
significant parts, processing and labor that go into the product must be of
U.S. origin. Products should not contain any - or only negligible - foreign
content. The FTC's
Enforcement Policy Statement and its business guide,
Complying with the Made in USA Standard,
spell out the details of the standard, with examples of situations when
domestic origin claims would be accurate and when they would be
www.ftc.gov/os/statutes/usajump.htm for more information.
Here's how the FTC evaluates "Made in USA" claims in product advertising,
labeling and packaging:
For most products: Unless the product is an automobile or a
textile or wool product, there's no law that requires manufacturers and
marketers to make a "Made in USA" claim. If a business chooses to make the
claim, however, the FTC's "Made in USA" "all or virtually all" standard
For textile and wool products: Under the Textile and Wool Acts,
these products must be labeled to identify the country where they were
processed or manufactured.
- Imported products must identify the country where they were processed
- Products made entirely in the U.S. of materials also made in the U.S.
must be labeled "Made in USA" or with an equivalent phrase.
- Products made in the U.S. of imported materials must be labeled to
show the processing or manufacturing that takes place in the U.S., as well
as the imported component.
- Products manufactured in part in the U.S. and in part abroad must
identify both aspects.
In addition, print and online catalogs must disclose whether a textile
was made in USA, imported or both.
For more information about country of origin labeling requirements for
textile, wool and fur products, see "Threading
Your Way Through the Labeling Requirements Under the Textile and Wool Acts."
American Automobile Labeling Act: This Act requires that each
automobile manufactured on or after October 1, 1994, for sale in the U.S.
bear a label disclosing where the car was assembled, the percentage of
equipment that originated in the U.S. and Canada, and the country of origin
of the engine and transmission. For more information, call the Consumer
Programs Division of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
(202-366-0846) or visit the
Suspect a violation? If you believe that a product promoted as "Made in
USA" is not America-made or contains significant foreign parts or
processing, file a complaint
with the FTC. If you are aware of
import or export fraud, call the U.S. Customs Service Commercial Fraud
The FTC works for the consumer to
prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the
marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop and
avoid them. To file a
complaint or to get free information
on consumer issues, visit
call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The
FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft and other fraud-related
Consumer Sentinel, a
secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law
enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.
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