|FTC Explains Made in USA Standard
To Confirm Consumer Confidence
In the aftermath
of the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, news
reports suggest that more American consumers are seeking out products that
are "Made in the USA" with the expectation that the claim is truthful and
According to the Federal Trade Commission, "Made in USA" means that "all
or virtually all" the product was, indeed, made in America. The agency
enforces the standard to ensure commercial compliance and confirm consumer
For a "Made in USA" claim to be accurate, 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.
According to FTC officials, there's no law that requires manufacturers
and marketers of most products to disclose U.S. content. In fact, except for
automobiles and textile and wool products, it's a manufacturer or
advertiser's choice to say whether a product is domestic. But those who
choose to make the claim must adhere to the "all or virtually all" standard.
While the FTC enforces the "Made in USA" standard, it's the U.S. Customs
Service that oversees the requirements that imported goods be marked with a
foreign country of origin (for example, "Made in Japan").
If you believe that a product is being erroneously promoted as "Made in
USA" because it wasn't - or because it contains significant foreign parts or
processing - call the FTC, toll-free, at 1-877-FTC-HELP or file a complaint
online at www.ftc.gov. 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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