`Made in the U.S.A.’ Turbines Cloud U.S. Offshore Wind

With state officials eyeing $56 billion of wind farm projects off the American coastline, developers are worried the turbines will need to be stamped with a big “Made in the U.S.A.”

Each structure is enormous — almost half the height of the Empire State Building. Most all of them are constructed in Europe, at least for now. As states in the U.S. Northeast jump into wind power, they’re betting they can create their own windmill industry. It’ll be a costly but perhaps necessary move, especially as President Donald Trump pushes for more factory jobs and picks fights with those making parts abroad.

“There’s no way of hiding that every single state, be it here in the U.S. or be it countries in Europe, are insisting on everything sort of being local,” said  Henrik Poulsen, CEO of Orsted A/S, the Danish company that is the world’s largest offshore-wind developer. “It is an equation that’s very difficult to solve without the whole technology becoming much more expensive.”

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FTC’s Aggressive Enforcement of “Made in USA” Claims

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has continued to aggressively prosecute advertisers for making “Made in USA” claims that the FTC believes are deceptive.  Since President Trump’s inauguration, the FTC has entered into at least three settlement agreements with advertisers involving “Made in USA” claims and has issued closing letters in at least 20 other cases.  In order to make an unqualified “Made in USA” claim about a product, the FTC requires that the advertiser substantiate that the product was “all or virtually all” made in the United States.

In the FTC’s case against iSpring Water Systems, LLC, a Georgia-based distributor of water filtration systems, the FTC alleged that iSpring made unqualified claims that its products were made in the United States, despite the fact that its products were wholly imported or had a significant amount of foreign inputs.

The second FTC case involved Block Division, Inc., a Texas-based distributor of pulley block systems.  Here, the FTC alleged that Block Division’s pulleys featured imported steel plates that were stamped “Made in USA” prior to the plates’ entry into the United States.

In its third and most recent case, the FTC alleged that Bollman Hat Company and its wholly owned subsidiary SaveAnAmericanJob, LLC (“Bollman”) misled consumers about whether their products were manufactured in the United States.  Specifically, the FTC alleged that Bollman marketed hats with statements such as “Made in USA since 1868,” and “#buyamerican.”  Despite these claims, the FTC alleged that more than 70% of the hat styles sold by Respondents were wholly imported as finished products.  The FTC also alleged that Bollman licensed its “American Made Matters” seal to other companies for use in connection with the marketing of their own products without doing sufficient due diligence to ensure that the products were, in fact, made in the United States.  The FTC alleged that Bollman only required that third parties who wished to use the American Made Matters seal self-certify that at least 50% of the cost of at least one of its products was incurred in the United States, with final assembly or transformation in the United States.

These cases – and the twenty other investigations that resulted in closing letters – are an important reminder that advertisers should exercise caution to ensure that their “Made in USA” claims comply with FTC standards.

 

 

 

 

 

Source: http://www.mondaq.com/unitedstates/x/672028/Trade+Regulation+Practices/FTCs+Aggressive+Enforcement+Of+Made+In+USA+Claims

USDA’s School Lunch program must now comply with the recently signed E.O. 13788

Buy American Act Certified

Buy American Act Certified

On April 18th, 2017, President Donald Trump signed Executive Order #13788 into effect reinforcing the Buy American Act and requiring the US government to start implementing more ‘Buy American and Hire American’ policies with additional scrutiny. This not only affects manufacturers/vendors that sell to the US government, but also farmers that supply produce to school districts, government facilities, and more. More specifically, the USDA’s School Lunch program must now comply with the recently signed EO by discontinuing waivers and preferring procurement from US Farmers.

With EO #13788 following its scheduled timeline, there is increasing pressure for the U.S. Government to implement more scrutinized procurement policies regarding the Buy American Act (BAA). Luckily, there is an easy solution for farmers to proactively meet and exceed increased procurement regulations.

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Protect your Marijuana Strain and Brand using Blockchain and (UPC) Universal Product Code.

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Protect your Marijuana Strain and Brand using Blockchain and (UPC) Universal Product Code.

With Marijuana listed as a Schedule 1 drug in the United States, business owners and growers face strict Federal restrictions. These governmental commerce restrictions pose issues to brand owners and growers wishing to protect their personal Marijuana brands (strains) with trademarks Albeit, some states have begun adopting their own policies regarding Marijuana commerce and trade, the United States Patent and Trade Office (USPTO) presumes ultimate control in distributing trademarks and brand protection.

A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol, or design, or combination of words, phrases, symbols, or designs, that identifies and distinguishes the source of goods of one party from those of others1.  Ultimately, a trademark offers an incredible value-add to brand owners using a brand name that is recognized by consumers which therefore drives customers to their business. Business owners/growers seeking to protect their personalized crops or bring legitimacy to commonly known strains face issues in providing customers with strain and crop assurance due to these strict regulations on Marijuana commerce. Read more of this post

Auto Chiefs Concerned with NAFTA Stance

The auto industry has warned that significant changes to the so-called rules of origin could undercut the president’s America-first goals.

Top executives from Detroit automakers met Monday with Vice President Mike Pence and other administration officials and aired their concerns about changes the Trump administration is seeking to the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Trump has pushed for companies to construct more auto assembly plants in the U.S., while also pushing for major changes to NAFTA that the automakers oppose. U.S. negotiators have proposed significant changes to the so-called rules of origin for autos in a bid to ensure more U.S.-made parts are used in vehicles assembled in North America, a change that the auto industry has warned could undercut Trump’s America-first goals.

“We view the modernization of NAFTA as an important opportunity to update the 23-year-old agreement and set the stage for an expansion of U.S. auto exports,” Matt Blunt, a former Missouri governor who leads the American Automotive Policy Council, a trade association representing Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co., and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV said in a statement. “We also appreciate the opportunity to directly address the industry’s concerns with the administration’s rule of origin proposal.”

Blunt said there are other things the group would like to have added to NAFTA, including a provision to guard against currency manipulation by Mexico and Canada.

Fiat Chrysler Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne, GM CEO Mary Barra and Joe Hinrichs,  Ford’s president of global operations, attended the White House meeting. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn were also scheduled to attend the meeting, Pence’s office said earlier on Monday.

By Ryan Beene Bloomberg: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-27/auto-chiefs-air-concerns-with-trump-nafta-stance-in-white-house

 

 

Why ‘Made in America’ Is Stitched Into the Law, but Not the Uniforms

More Transportation Security Administration uniforms have been made in Mexico in recent years than in the United States, despite rules requiring the Department of Homeland Security to “buy American.”CreditDavid Mcnew/Getty Images

WASHINGTON — President Trump’s push to “buy American” has been a key initiative of his administration, and Mr. Trump speaks frequently about ensuring that the federal government is buying American products.

So it might come as a surprise that the uniforms of those Secret Service agents that protect and surround him every day are probably made outside the United States, most likely in Mexico.

The United States government has several laws on the books that require the military and other national security agencies to buy from American sources, when possible. But a new report from the Government Accountability Office shows how a primary rule covering the Department of Homeland Security, called the Kissell Amendment, has been undercut by a slew of bureaucratic restrictions and obligations required by international trade agreements.

As a result, over roughly the past three years, more Secret Service uniforms have been made in Mexico than in any other country — including the United States. The same goes for uniforms procured for Transportation Security Administration workers. The majority of uniforms for Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents are also made outside the United States, in countries like El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico and Cambodia.

“It really doesn’t have much impact at all,” Kimberly Gianopoulos, the director of the Government Accountability Office’s international affairs and trade team, said of the Kissell Amendment.

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