Manufacturer’s Definition of ‘Made in USA’ Costs Big Bucks

Is the Made in USA Label Compatible with WTO Law?, Manufacturer's Definition of ‘Made in USA’ Costs Big Bucks

As companies “tiptoe” back to the United States from overseas, the “Made in USA” label should grow more common. However, ambiguous rules are costing some manufacturers hundreds of thousands of dollars in penalties and legal fees. So what’s the problem? The coveted “Made in USA” does not always mean the same thing to companies as to the Federal Trade Commission.  Read more of this post

What it takes to be ‘Made in USA’

Athletic shoe maker New Balance says stamping Made in USA on its labels draws in customers

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — With so much talk about the need to revive U.S. manufacturing and create jobs, more companies are touting their American-made roots in order to lure customers.

The notion that buying something made domestically will boost the economy has become an article of faith during the economic crisis. And many businesses are trying to capitalize on that by attaching a “Made in USA” label to their products.

Buying American-made goods has become personal, according to Dave Schiff, chief creative officer at Made Movement, a website that markets and sells only American-made products. Shoppers believe that supporting businesses that manufacture domestically could help them in return.

People are looking for “Made in USA” labels because they know that’s how jobs are created, he said. They think, “My son who is unemployed could benefit if I pay attention to a label. The economy at large gets a shot in the arm.”

But before a company can use the iconic label, it must comply with a complex set of rules that dictates its use.

The Federal Trade Commission has a dizzying 44-page rulebook that lays out the guidelines — and the specifics are enough to make your head spin.

For instance, domestically-made textiles, wool, fur or automobiles must, by law, have a “Made in USA” label. Companies aren’t required to disclose country of origin for most other products, but many choose to tout their American-made status in order to appeal to customers.

Companies looking for that boost from the label have to be able to prove that their final products are assembled or processed in the United States, according to the FTC. The agency doesn’t spot-check items that claim to be made in the United States, but it does investigate complaints.

Related: 7 hot Made-in-the-USA toys for the holidays

Of course, many manufacturers now rely on global supply chains, which makes it much harder to determine when a company can rightly make the claim. Regulators try to assess how much of a product’s total manufacturing cost comes from the United States.

For goods that have parts made in many different countries, the FTC relies on what it calls a “one step removed” rule. For instance, if a shirt is made with fabric from overseas, but sewn together in the United States, it can’t be labeled “Made in USA.”

But if a manufacturer uses U.S.-made fabric that is sewn together domestically using thread made overseas, it would be permitted to use the “Made in the USA” label.

Companies that can’t get all of their component parts domestically can use what the FTC calls qualified “Made in USA” claims, such as “Made in USA from imported parts” or “Assembled in the USA.”

Related: The manufacturing jobs boom is for real

While the distinctions may be minor, a failure to follow the rules can cost businesses a ton of money.

If the FTC finds a label to be deceptive, it can file a lawsuit and ask for a court-ordered fine or consumer redress. According to Matt Wilshire, an FTC staff attorney, fines go as high as $16,000 per mislabeled item sold, or for every day that the item was advertised.

“This could become a very large figure very quickly,” he said, citing one case that ended up costing a business nearly $400,000 in fines.

As costly as a labeling mistake could be, many feel like the regulations protect smaller businesses in the long run.

Brian Meck, who co-owns Fessler USA, a private-label manufacturer that makes clothing for retailers like Urban Outfitters (URBN), says that the regulations reward companies who pay higher costs to manufacture domestically by safeguarding the Made in USA claim. Without the rules, he said, big brands could benefit from the label while sourcing cheaper imported materials to cut costs, without anyone knowing the difference.

Meck also said that the regulations not only protect businesses, but also help consumers. “They give [consumers] the ability to know where their dollars are going and what they’re really supporting.”

For New Balance Athletic Shoe, which is the last U.S.- made athletic footwear brand, the pros of manufacturing domestically outweigh the drawbacks.

“From a cost perspective, you add different burdens — regulatory schemes, wage and benefits — compared to competitors,” said spokesman Matt LeBretton. “But the feedback that we get is pretty outstanding, so we do everything to make that continue to work.”

Source:http://money.cnn.com/2012/09/18/smallbusiness/made-in-usa-label/index.html

 

 

RAILEAN® American Handcrafted Rum and Agave Sprits Undergoes a New Brand

 

Railean Rum - The only Made in USA Certified Rum Distiller in the United States

Railean Rum - The only Made in USA Certified Rum Distiller in the United States

RAILEAN®, The Only USA Certified Handcrafted Rum and Agave Distiller, Unveils a Bold New Image, a Redesigned Website, and Innovative Spirits in 2012. 

San Leon, Texas (PRWEB) February 07, 2012

Motivated by its widespread success in Texas, where the margarita is practically the state drink, the American rum and agave distiller RAILEAN has rejuvenated its website and enhanced its product line for 2012. The enhancements are part of an overall branding effort led by Houston-based Woodlands Ad Agency, which designs custom websites, builds brands, and leads many online marketing campaigns.

The new website design features detailed information about the RAILEAN product line, which currently includes four rum labels and two agave labels. Visitors can access informative articles about the American rum industry and delectable food and drink recipes, from the fresh and fruity to those best suited for celebrating an incoming hurricane. While RAILEAN cannot sell its alcohol products online due to liquor laws, a variety of RAILEAN pirate merchandise, including t-shirts, shot glasses, and branded materials are available for purchase.

In contrast to the mass-produced, imported products from the Caribbean, Puerto Rico, U.S.Virgin Islands, and Mexico that currently dominate the market, each RAILEAN bottle is made in America using domestically produced sugarcane molasses from the Gulf Coast. Leading the first woman-owned, USA-certified rum and agave distillery, Kelly Railean is revolutionizing the American market. Since 2005, she has introduced the refreshingly tropical Texas White, the rich Reserve XO and the perfectly balanced Spiced Rum, all of which are bottled by hand. Railean also offers the earthy Small Cask Reserve, a handcrafted rum that rates in the upper 90s.

In 2010, the rapidly growing business expanded to include the high quality El Perico Silver. This smooth liquor, which is made from 100% blue agave nectar cultivated in Jalisco, rivals the best top-shelf tequila brands produced in Mexico. A smooth Reposado American agave spirit is scheduled for release in Spring 2012.

“We are thrilled with the new direction RAILEAN is heading in,” says Kelly Railean, proprietor and master distiller. “In 2011, RAILEAN became the only distiller of rum and agave to achieve the stringent Made in the USA® Certified designation by the Federal Trade Commission. Our new website and product offerings are the jumpstart we need to establish Railean American rum and American agave spirits as this nation’s preeminent all American brand.”

About Railean Distillers® http://www.railean.com 

Exclusively fermented, distilled and bottled by RAILEAN Distillers, LLC, at the Eagle Point Distillery in San Leon, Texas, RAILEAN handcrafts the only Made in the USA Certified® rum and agave spirits. This artisan distiller produces everything from scratch using domestic raw materials. Educational and tasting tours are available to the public.


RAILEAN® Handcrafted American Rum™ 1st to Become Made in USA Certified®

American consumers now have an American choice.

American consumers now have an American choice.

LEAGUE CITY, TEXAS- Railean Distillers, LLC (RAILEAN) announced today that their portfolio of RAILEAN® rum spirits is the first rum to be MADE IN USA CERTIFIED® in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission requirements under federal law.

Qualifying for the MADE IN USA CERTIFIED® Seal signifies that a manufactured product has gone through a rigorous supply chain audit and certification process to confirm compliance with U.S. laws and regulations in regards to the ‘Made in USA’ claim.

RAILEAN® received official notice of their successful completion of Made in USA Certified Inc.’s proprietary independent audit process and received license to use the Made in USA Seal of Certification. The MADE IN USA CERTIFIED® seal guarantees that a company bearing these trust marks has gone through a rigorous supply chain audit to verify compliance withU.S. laws and regulations. Consumers know that when they see this seal, the “The Made in USA” claim has been verified, tested and true.

“Americans are fed up with tax subsidies and bailouts of imported products making it hard for small American businesses to compete, and the rum industry is no exception” said Kelly Railean, President and Founder. “With this elite certification, we are now able to differentiate our rum from every other imported rum on the market. Americans now have a choice between imported mass produced rum and higher quality Handcrafted American Rum™. We are fully committed to providing products Made in theUSA; thus providing jobs, fueling our American economy and aiding in the recovery of our economic system.”

Although additional costs are incurred to meet the stringent Made in USA regulations, a recent Gallup Poll found that 72% of Americans are paying heightened attention to the country of origin of the products they buy and nearly 94% of Americans would pay more for foods grown or produced in the United States of America. American consumers want companies to adhere to strict US labor laws, OSHA safety standards, and the EPA environmental regulations, and they want a guarantee of quality for raw materials, packaging and final product.

Railean Distillers, LLC, founded in 2005 in League City, Texas is a woman-owned business and is the only rum distillery to be certified with the Made in USA Certified seal.

Contacts
Railean Distillers, LLC
Kelly Railean
713-545-2742
info@railean.com

Made in USA Certified
Julie Reiser
561-279-2855
Julie@USA-C.com

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