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

Detroit, Shinola is ‘Made in USA’ success story

 

detroit-shinola

Detroit (AFP) – From the outside, there’s nothing much to say about this nondescript, hulking building in downtown Detroit, once the cradle of American industry.

But inside this former General Motors research lab, the fifth floor has been transformed into a state-of-the-art workshop producing watches and high-end bicycles.

Welcome to Shinola, a young American luxury lifestyle company breathing new life into the “Made in USA” label — a designation championed by President-elect Donald Trump.

The firm, which shares the building with a design school, has built an open factory space with wooden desks reminiscent of 1950s movie sets and high-tech machinery.

Watches, handbags, appointment books and other accessories carrying the “Made in Detroit” label are turned out here, while the bikes — made from parts designed in neighboring Wisconsin — and turntables, a new product, are assembled at the flagship store located nearby.

Dozens of employees work here — most of them African Americans, who make up the majority of residents in this blighted working-class city, forced into bankruptcy in 2013 under the weight of its massive debt.

Detroit suffered hugely from the decline of US manufacturing and especially the difficulties facing the “Big Three” — auto giants General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler.

The unemployment rate hit 10.4 percent in November, compared to the national average of 4.6 percent, according to official statistics.

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National Law Review primer on the “Made in USA” Claim

Made in the USA (For the Most Part)
repost:

Newspaper headlines report a new economic trend—manufacturing is returning to the United States. The country’s industrial production grew by 0.7 percent in July, its biggest jump since November 2014. This number represents everything made by factories, mines, and utilities. Before companies start slapping “Made in the USA” labels on their wares, they need to make sure they are familiar with the legal requirements to do so.

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Made in the USA: Labeling Lawsuits in America’s Pet Food Industry

Made in the USA: Labeling Lawsuits in America's Pet Food Industry

As of 2015, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) had become aware of more than 5,000 reports of American dogs that became sick or died after eating chicken jerky pet treats that were made in China, but marketed and sold by allegedly reputable food companies here in the U.S. Read more of this post

Is Your Product Truly American-Made? How Imports, Suppliers and More Play Into the Coveted Made in USA Claim

Made in USA

A handful of companies recently faced lawsuits over supposed false “Made in USA” claims. Consumers are suing companies for claiming their products are American-made, when in reality they may not be or too many parts of the product are produced in foreign countries. Companies facing these lawsuits include food company Heinz, energy drink maker Rockstar and a number makers of jeans: True Religion, AG Adriano Goldschmied and Citizens of Humanity.Americans apparently really want their denim to be domestic.

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Made in the USA? Or not?

When are Manufacturers Liable for Claims Made by Their Retailers? Made in USA Claims, American made claims, Made in America Claims. Made in the USA? Or not?

When can a company tout its products as “Made in the USA”? Different (sometimes conflicting) standards under federal and state law can make it difficult for shoppers to know what they’re buying and manufacturers and retailers to know when it’s safe to label their products as American-made. Read more of this post

Made in USA Claims: Three Cheers for The Said Right and True

Made in USA Claims: Three Cheers for The Said Right and True

Two products sit side by side on the store shelf, but only one says “Made in USA.” Read more of this post

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

Walmart Removes Made in USA Logos From Website After Government Inquiry

Walmart removes "Made in USA" logos from website after government inquiry

The retailer avoids government action by changing its “Made in the U.S.A.” labeling. Read more of this post

Is the Made in USA Label Compatible with WTO Law?

Is the Made in USA Label Compatible with WTO Law?The Made in USA label is a country of origin type of label that indicates that a product is ’all or virtually all’ made in the United States (US). Read more of this post

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