Do you want to know what country your food comes from?

We think you do and an overwhelming 92% of American’s say -YES in a recent Boston Consulting Group survey of consumers.

Sadly, the WTO (World Trade Organization) doesn’t see it that way.  The WTO has ruled that U.S. producers of beef, poultry, lamb and other agriculture products must remove the current legislated Country of Origin Labeling from their packages by May 23rd. (less then 2 short months away)
So, now consumers will lose the transparency in their food supply that for years they have fought for.  Scary, but true.
What is even scarier is that mainstream media hasn’t picked up on this story in a major way so, many consumers don’t even know what is about to happen in May to the packaging of the goods they buy everyday for themselves and their families.
So, what can you do about it.

1st Let your Grocer, Retailer and Producer know this is important and you want to know where your food comes from
2nd tell them we have an independent solution for you to know and you want to see the label “Product of USA Certified”.

Our company is the  leader in independent, 3rd party certification of the Product of USA Certified claim.  We are a voluntary certification that producers can use on their product and packaging to let consumers know –that they are proudly – PRODUCT OF USA CERTIFIED.

U.S. consumers have the right to now where their food comes from and producers have the right to voluntary market their products with our trademarked certification.

We are the solution that consumers and producers are looking for.

Contact us today for more information.

Product of USA Certified

Please get the word out and follow us on
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“Trust but Certify”

Hotels bet guests will favor furnishings made in USA

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Montague Furniture

By:Barbara Delollis USA Today

When you walk into a hotel in the U.S. today, you’ll see many items – chairs, draperies, lamps – that were made in China, Vietnam, Malaysia or elsewhere overseas.

But that’s gradually changing, hotel designers and furniture makers tell Hotel Check-In.

There’s a small but growing trend among hotels to buy more items from local, regional or U.S. vendors.

Hotel owners, developers and designers are increasingly deciding it’s worth it, even if they pay a little extra for a U.S. product.

Why? There’s time and risk involved with ordering items from overseas, plus showcasing locally made goods can give the hotel a patriotic or community-minded spin.

Examples:

  • The Hyatt Regency Minneapolis recently finished a $25 million revamp that used “Made in America” as its central theme. More than three-quarters of the items purchased for the renovation came from the USA, says designer Michael Suomi of New York-based Stonehill & Taylor. The guest bathroom counter tops, for instance, feature granite quarried locally and purchased from a century-old Minnesota company.
  • The Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation, in Greensboro, Ga., is in the midst of redecorating to give guests a lighter, more modern look with many U.S.-made products, says Megan Ybarra of the Dallas-based interior design firm Duncan Miller Ullman. The hotel found wall coverings from Kentucky, guestroom carpet from Georgia, and a Texas metalwork firm was hired to custom-make the metal branches that form the base of guestroom ottomans, she says.
  • The InterContinental Chicago’s 477-room renovation emphasizes locally-sourced materials and furniture, says Dan Egan, the hotel’s sales and marketing director. Guest rooms contain drapery from Union, Ill., headboards from Jasper, Ind., wall covering from York, Penn., and room signage in hallways from McCook, Ill.
  • Montague, a 20-year-old guestroom furniture maker, last April invested in its first-ever factory – and it’s located in North Carolina, says Misty Delbridge, who runs the company’s U.S. division. It made sense, because hotel owners are increasingly seeking products made here and the factory was in danger of closing down, she says. A Hilton hotel in Texas, for instance, is having the company prepare two model rooms for a renovation – one outfitted with furnishings made in Vietnam and the other with furnishings made in the U.S., she says. Montague still has about 70% of its products produced in China and Malaysia.

No. 1 priority: Put heads in beds

Another factor driving the growth in U.S.-sourced products is hotels’ rush to renovate in as small a window as possible so that rooms can stay filled with paying customers, says Delbridge. It’s especially true in New York City, where some hotels can be sold out or almost sold out most nights of the year.

“If the cost (to purchase U.S.-made furniture) is 10% higher and the hotel can gain revenue back in six to eight weeks, they’re all about it because then they could have a ‘Made in America’ story and gain revenue,” Delbridge says. “These companies wouldn’t do it just for the story. There’s got to be an advantage in it for them.”

Hotel renovations are faster paced than building new hotels from scratch, notes Ybarra, who worked on the Ritz-Carlton Lodge project. It typically takes about 18 months to renovate a hotel, which since the recession has been the most common activity among hoteliers, vs. about three years to build a new one, she says.

“Our clients are willing to pay an extra dollar or two to not have the hassle of waiting,” Ybarra says. There’s also the risk of complications, she says, citing long waits at U.S. Customs and a time when pirates took over containers filled with items for a Turks and Caicos hotel.

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What it Really Means to be Made in the USA

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You often hear companies touting their products as Made in America. Recently, DWM magazine looked at the Federal Trade Commission’s “Made in USA” Act which was designed to give the agency “the power to bring law enforcement actions against false or misleading claims that a product is of U.S. origin.” But other programs are in place as well to help consumers make informed decisions and this includes, Made in USA Certified®.

Made in USA Certified® is the only registered “Made in USA Certified” Word Mark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, according to the organization.

“When we say it’s ‘Made in USA,’ you can count on it,” says Julie Reiser, president and co-founder.

Any company bearing one of the USA-C™ seals has gone through a rigorous supply chain audit to ensure that the product and processes originate in the United States of America.

The designation is an independent certification system that applies proprietary audit criteria consistently across companies, and criteria are checked through the company’s supply chain. “The seal says the company has committed to American jobs and to the American economy,” says Reiser. “Displaying the seal gives consumers the option to visibly support products and services of the USA.”

The Earthwise Group LLC, a national network of locally owned, independent manufacturers of doors and windows, announced that the organization has recently been recognized as “Made in USA Certified.” The organization is the first and only door and window manufacturer to be Made in USA Certified, according to Earthwise.

Why did they do it? “Number one it’s the right thing to do,” says Mark Davis, executive director, the Earthwise Group. “We have to invest in the American economy, American worker and American jobs. If our economy is going to turn around we have to be more sensitive in investing, and that means ingesting in American products.”

He also says the consumer is more willing today to buy American.

“Due to the economic slowdown we feel that the American consumer is more motivated than ever to buy American products,” he adds. “They are beginning again to take pride in American made products and realize the benefits of that …. They have seen the result of ignoring investing in America.”

So why should other companies look at this program?

“The biggest thing I try to do is educate people that the claim of ‘Made in the USA’ is unregulated. There are so many companies just making that claim,” says Reiser. “The only way the consumer really knows is if the company does a supply chain audit .”

It’s completely different to say it than to prove it, she adds.

“It says a lot about a company’s willingness to remain transparent. For companies it’s a powerful branding tool to distinguish among those who may be making false claims,” says Reiser.

She also adds that purchasing dollars are going to support a U.S. manufacturer and create U.S. jobs “which is at the crux of our problems now.”

“One of the things this does for companies is it distinguishes them against those in their industry who may be making a false claim to gain market share,” she says. “If the company has legitimately gone through the process and awarded the seal that puts them head and shoulders above the competition.”

Source: http://www.dwmmag.com/index.php/what-it-really-means-to-be-made-in-the-usa/

How Ending Currency Manipulation Will Help Manufacturers

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Many American economists and policymakers believe that currency manipulation by U.S. trading partners such as Japan and Singapore – and especially China – creates a drag on the U.S. economy and depresses the country’s manufacturing sector.

Currency Manipulation

Currency manipulation by U.S. trading partners such as Japan and Singapore – and especially China – creates a drag on the U.S. economy and depresses the country’s manufacturing sector.

Currency manipulation involves artificially reducing the value of a country’s own currency, in effect providing a subsidy for national exports. Currency manipulators often buy U.S. treasury bonds to prevent their own currencies from strengthening. In the case of China, the country’s trade with the U.S. brings in an excess of U.S. dollars and would normally create a shortage of yuans. But to avoid the yuan’s appreciation and prop up its manufacturing sector, China buys up U.S. treasuries to keep the yuan out of currency exchange markets, thus maintaining an artificially low value.

About one out of every six U.S. private-sector jobs is in manufacturing, 17.2 million in total, according to the National Association of Manufacturers(NAM). However, manufacturing dominates when it comes to U.S. trade goods, accounting for 86 percent of exports in 2011, the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) says. So a U.S. trade deficit, exacerbated by currency manipulation, has a disproportionately negative effect on the manufacturing sector.

Robert E. Scott, Helen Jorgensen, and Doug Hall of the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) explain that reviving the crucial U.S. manufacturing sector “requires eliminating a jobs-destroying U.S. trade deficit in goods,” in large part by ending currency manipulation. Currency manipulation, the group says, “distorts international trade flows by artificially lowering the cost of U.S. imports and raising the cost of U.S. exports,” thereby displacing American manufacturing jobs.

Eliminating currency manipulation would reduce the U.S. trade goods deficit by at least $190 billion and as much as $400 billion over three years, allowing the U.S. to “reap enormous benefits” without any increase in federal spending or taxation. This would reduce U.S. unemployment by 1 to 2.1 percentage points and create between 2.2 million and 4.7 million jobs; between 620,000 and 1.3 million of those jobs would be in manufacturing. In addition, U.S. GDP would increase between 1.4 percent and 3.1 percent.

The Group of Seven (G7) top industrial nations is concerned that continued currency manipulation is creating dangerous instability in the global economy. The organization, which is comprised of the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the U.K., recently saidits members are committed to market-determined exchange rates and “will remain oriented towards meeting our respective domestic objectives using domestic instruments.”

The G7 affirmed that they “will not target exchange rates” – meaning they themselves refuse to be involved in currency manipulation. “We are agreed that excessive volatility and disorderly movements in exchange rates can have adverse implications for economic and financial stability,” the group declared.

Artificially lowering a country’s exchange rate can make its exports cheaper and promote growth internally, but that only causes problems for other countries because one currency can fall only if another rises. This imbalance, the EPI warns, “could spark a ‘currency war’ – a destabilizing battle where countries compete against one another to get the lowest exchange rate.” This scenario “conjures up images of the 1930s, when countries pursued tit-for-tat devaluations in order to get an edge… the outcome was to decimate global trade, accentuate the depression, and sow the seeds for World War II,” according to the institute.

 

Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM), argued that policymakers need to act now to prevent further harm from unfair trade practices.

“Congress is obsessed with the wrong deficit,” Paul said. “To grow jobs and boost the economy, we must eliminate the trade deficit. Ending currency manipulation will get us part of the way there, but we also need a smart manufacturing policy, one that focuses on innovation, public investment, skills, and trade enforcement.”

According to the EPI report, any U.S president could end currency manipulation with a stroke of the pen: “The president could simply declare that the United States will no longer sell Treasury bills and other government assets to China and other countries that refuse to allow the United States to purchase their government assets… Refusing to sell assets to currency manipulators would eliminate the principal tool used by foreign central banks to manipulate their currencies: purchases of Treasury bills and other government securities…”

Olli Rehn, top monetary affairs official for the European Commission (EC), told the Associated Press that joint governmental efforts are needed to fight the adverse effects of “excess volatility and disorderly movements” in exchange rates. “That’s why we need to lean on active international policy coordination in order to prevent a wave of competitive devaluations.”

 

 

Source: http://news.thomasnet.com/IMT/2013/02/26/how-ending-currency-manipulation-will-help-manufacturers/

Walmart to Boost Sourcing of U.S. Products by $50 Billion Over the Next 5 Years

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NEW YORK, Jan. 15, 2013 – Walmart today announced bold commitments to increase domestic sourcing of the products it sells and help veterans find jobs when they come off active duty. Speaking at the National Retail Federation’s annual BIG Show, Walmart U.S. President and CEO Bill Simon also announced the company is helping part-time associates who want to be full time, make that transition.

“We want all of our associates to find the career opportunities they want with Walmart,” said Simon. “We will make sure part-time associates have full visibility into full-time job openings in their stores and nearby stores, and that they always have first shot at those jobs. We will also bring more transparency to our scheduling system so part-time workers can choose more hours for themselves.”

U.S. Manufacturing

On domestic sourcing, Walmart and Sam’s Club will buy an additional $50 billion in U.S. products over the next 10 years. The company will grow U.S. manufacturing on two fronts: by increasing what it already buys here – in categories like sporting goods, apparel basics, storage products, games, and paper products, and by helping to onshore U.S. production in high potential areas like textiles, furniture and higher-end appliances.

“At the heart of our national political conversation today is one issue: creating jobs to grow the economy,” said Simon. “We are meeting with our suppliers on domestic manufacturing and are making a strong commitment to move this forward.”

A popular misconception about Walmart is where the majority of the products on its shelves are sourced.  According to data from its suppliers, items that are made here, sourced here, or grown here account for about two-thirds of what the company spends to buy products at Walmart U.S. The company sees room to do more.

To help achieve this commitment, Walmart has created a senior team within the company to lead this effort and it will sign longer term purchase agreements to give suppliers more certainty.

“We can do so much more by working in partnership – as an industry and with governments,” said Simon. “I’ve talked with a number of governors, including the incoming chair of the National Governors Association, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin, about how governors and retailers and manufacturers can drive this issue together. Governors from both sides of the aisle are enthusiastic about getting their constituents back to work.”

This summer, Walmart will help convene a manufacturing summit for stakeholders to work together and help accelerate these changes.

Veterans

Beginning Memorial Day, Walmart will offer a job to any honorably discharged veteran in his or her first 12 months off active duty. Most of these jobs will be in Walmart stores and clubs, and some will be in distribution centers and the Home Office.

“Hiring a veteran can be one of the best business decisions you make,” said Simon. “Veterans have a record of performance under pressure. They’re quick learners and team players. They are leaders with discipline, training, and a passion for service. There is a seriousness and sense of purpose that the military instills, and we need it today more than ever.”

Walmart’s pledge is not the end of this effort; it’s the beginning. The company projects it will hire more than 100,000 veterans during the next five years.

“We believe Walmart is already the largest private employer of veterans in the country, and we want to hire more,” added Simon. “I can think of no better group to lead in revitalizing our economy than those who have served in uniform. Through their service, veterans give us a land of freedom. When they return, it must be to a land of possibility.”

Walmart has spoken with the White House about this commitment. The First Lady’s team immediately expressed an interest in working with Walmart and with the entire business community to join forces to build upon this commitment. In the next several weeks, the White House will convene the Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense, and major American employers to encourage businesses to make significant commitments to train and employ America’s returning heroes.

“This is exactly the kind of act we hoped would be possible when we started Joining Forces – a concrete example of our nation’s love and support that our troops, veterans, and their families can feel in their lives every day,” said First Lady Michelle Obama. “As our wars come to an end and our troops continue to come home, it’s more important than ever that all of us – not just government, but our businesses and nonprofits as well – do our part to serve those who have served us so bravely.  So today, my challenge is simple: for every business in America to follow Walmart’s lead by finding innovative solutions that both make sense for their workplaces and make a difference for our veterans and their families.  Given what we’ve seen from Walmart and so many other companies over the past two years, we know that they will.”

Simon also called on the retail industry to work together to provide greater career opportunities for veterans.

“Imagine what retail could do together,” said Simon. “We could leave an incredible legacy as an industry. We can be the ones who step up for our heroes. And we can do this now.”

Click here for Bill Simon’s remarks.

About Walmart
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better – anytime and anywhere – in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices.  Each week, more than 200 million customers and members visit our 10,400 stores under 69 banners in 27 countries and e-commerce websites in 10 countries. With fiscal year 2012 sales of approximately $444 billion, Walmart employs more than 2.2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visitinghttp://corporate.walmart.com, on Facebook at http://facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmartnewsroom. Online merchandise sales are available at http://www.walmart.com and http://www.samsclub.com.

 

 

Made in USA Certified® Launches US Jobs Project™ Initiative

BOCA RATON, Fla.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Made in USA Certified® has partnered with US manufacturers to rally for US jobs and US manufacturing with a tour across America in a red, white & blue, star spangled bus. The US Jobs Project™ launches in patriotic fashion this July 3rd – July 7th, Independence Day week.

The main goals of the US Jobs Project™ are: 1) Promote US manufacturing and the critical role domestic manufacturing plays in the creation of sustainable US jobs 2) The important role consumers play in the creation of jobs by supporting products Made in USA.

“This project is fueled by the idea that Americans helping Americans can truly create sustainable jobs and jumpstart our economy. We believe that together, we create jobs in the USA,” Julie Reiser, President and Co-Founder of Made in USA Certified® said.

The US Job Project™ tour will officially kick off on July 3rd & 4th in Delray Beach, Florida for the Independence Day Extravaganza. There will be product giveaways, fan photo fun and supporters can register for the “Great American Giveaway” contest, where participants can enter to win a custom designed Gibson guitar.

After the July 4th fireworks celebration the bus will head to Daytona, Florida for the NASCAR, Subway Jalapeno 250, Coke Zero 400 races and a concert by double Platinum recording band, TRAIN at the Daytona International Speedway on July 6th & 7th.

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Startup America Rocks….Our Bus @ The Kentucky Derby

Startup America headed by Priceline.com CTO and co-founder Scott Case, had an idea on Monday morning the week of Derby: “Let’s take some start-ups to the Kentucky Derby.”

( Hey!  Kinda sounds like our U.S. Jobs Project – American Made Chic Summer Tour kick off idea.)

Inc. Magazine reported on it and no- “it wasn’t completely random”.  In fact we at the U.S. Jobs Project like to think of it as grassroots – Guerrilla Marketing!  Nobody gets anyones attention by staying at home, marketing is an active, energetic process. Obviously, Mr. Case gets that and then some.

A little background on Scott Case:  Timothy “Scott” Case (not related to Steve Case) is a technologist, entrepreneur and inventor and was founding CTO of Priceline, the “Name Your Own Price” company that was one of only a handful of startups in U.S. history to reach a billion dollars in annual sales in less than 24 months. As Chief Technology Officer, he was responsible for building the technology that enabled Priceline’s hyper-growth. Most recently, Scott was named CEO and board member of the Startup America Partnership, where he’ll invest his energy to drive American entrepreneurship to create jobs and sustain our nation’s global leadership.

So, as you can see Mr. Case knows a little about hyper-growth, Startup’s and great ideas.

Full Article here

White House Video of Startup America Google Hangout Julie Reiser

White House VIDEO of  Julie Reiser, President & Co-Founder of Made in USA Certified was invited to participate in the GOOGLE+ White House Hangout with Startup America with Gene Sperling (Director of the National Economic Council at the White House) and Aneech Chopra (Chief Technology Officer for the White House), Steve Case from Startup America Partnership! Cool stuff!

Video of  Startup America, White House and Julie Reiser Made in USA Certified

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