Making your product in the USA does not mean that it can be labeled as Made in the USA. The Federal Trade Commission(FTC) has requirements for what products can be labeled as Made in the USA. Here are the basics of FTC label requirements.
Are all Made in USA products required to be labeled as such?
The FTC has a Made in USA Standard that requires the U.S. content be disclosed on automobiles and textile, wool, and fur products. All other items are up to the discretion of the manufacturer regarding whether or not they want to use the Made in USA distinction on their products.
Unqualified Made in USA Claim
An unqualified Made in USA claim means that “all or virtually all” of the product such as the major components that make up the item, parts, where it is assembled must be of U.S. origin in order to use the Made in USA label.
Below are two great examples from the FTC website regarding making an unqualified Made in USA claim.
“A company produces propane barbecue grills at a plant in Nevada. The product’s major components include the gas valve, burner and aluminum housing, each of which is made in the U.S. The grill’s knobs and tubing are imported from Mexico. An unqualified Made in USA claim is not likely to be deceptive because the knobs and tubing make up a negligible portion of the product’s total manufacturing costs and are insignificant parts of the final product.”
“A table lamp is assembled in the U.S. from American-made brass, an American-made Tiffany-style lampshade, and an imported base. The base accounts for a small percent of the total cost of making the lamp. An unqualified Made in USA claim is deceptive for two reasons: The base is not far enough removed in the manufacturing process from the finished product to be of little consequence and it is a significant part of the final product.
Qualified Made in USA Claim
A qualified Made in USA claim can describe the extent, amount or type of a product’s domestic content or manufacturing and states that the product isn’t entirely of domestic origin. Stating that a product is Made in the USA of imported materials is an example of a qualified claim.
Does the FTC Regulate the Made in USA Label?
The FTC does not regulate the Made in USA label. Instead they rely on complaints from consumers regarding the misuse of this labeling standard. If a company is found to be making deceptive claims they can be subject to a fine and possible lawsuit.
The Made in USA Label is Important to Consumers
Consumers should be able to pick up a product that is labeled Made in USA and buy with the confidence that that item is in fact made where it says it is. We salute those companies who believe in American manufacturing and creating jobs is the US and who proudly bear the Made in USA label on their products.Visit the FTC for More Information