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

Adam Reiser: Trump administration struggles to enforce ‘Buy American’ EO 13788

Nearly eight months after President Donald J. Trump signed his executive order “Buy American and Hire American,” an expert on certifying whether goods are made in the United States shared with Big League Politics the challenges in certification and enforcing Trump’s intentions.

 

 

 

Adam Reiser, the CEO and founder of Certified, Inc., told Big League Politics he is seeing no action in the executive branch to move the president’s executive order forward.

A source familiar with how the White House drafted the executive order told Big League Politics: “There are zero teeth in it, you know? Let’s of fanfare, lots of publicity, back-slapping and hand-shaking with Trump–and now, it is getting resisted, like as if it meant nothing.”

According to the president’s directive, all agencies were supposed to have turned into both the Department of Commerce and the Office of Management and Budget how they plan to comply. These plans are to include, searchable databases of certified vendors, storage arrangements for the documents and simplifications of their internal procurement procedures.

Reiser said Trump’s executive order was the president’s attempt to bring federal procurement back in synch with the law.

The Buy American Act of 1933 was signed by President Herbert Hoover the day before he handed over the White House to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The Act was championed by Rep. Joseph W. Byrne, (D.-Tenn.), then the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee and later Speaker of the House.

Byrne’s idea was that given support by the Hearst newspapers and by Hoover’s Commissioner of Customs Francis F.A. Eble, who would go on to start the Buy American Club.

“The law says that the U.S. government has to show preferential treatment to U.S. manufacturers,” Reiser said. “It is so the government has to buy from its own.”

Reiser said that from the 1970s, the federal government has been providing waivers to the 1933 law. “In the 1980s and 1990s, it has picked up big-time.”

When the president signed Executive Order 13788, the White House was optimistic.

President Donald J. Trump holding his Executive Order 13788 at the April 18, 2017 Kenosha, Wis., signing ceremony. (White House photo)

A senior administration official speaking on background on Easter Monday, the day before the executive order was signed in the headquarters of the tool company Snap-On in Kenosha, Wisconsin, said the executive order would correct the abuse of the Buy American Act waiver process.

“Okay, so the culture immediately changes across the agencies.  We have a lax enforcement, lax monitoring, lax compliance,” the official said. Read more of this post

Buy American Act and Executive Order 13788 plans due today

Buy American Act

Buy American Act

NOVEMBER 15, 2017 Individual agency compliance plans must be submitted to the Director of the Office and Management and Budget (OMB) and Secretary of Commerce due today for the Buy America Act.

April 18, 2017, President Trump signed the Buy American and Hire American Executive Order #13788 to reduce Federal waiver applications, support the US economy, and hold government agencies responsible for initiatives regarding procuring Made in USA goods. This executive order reinforces the 1933 Buy American Act which was enacted to protect America’s interest by requiring government agencies to prefer Made in USA goods, products, and vendors for government procurements.

Timeline- for Buy America Act

The General Services Administration (GSA), which oversees $66 billion in annual government procurement, will be accountable for securing Made in USA goods and products for their scheduled procurements. Additionally, the GSA will have to provide annual implementation reports to the Secretary of Commerce and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regarding ‘Buy American’ initiatives starting this November of 2017. The Secretary of Commerce must submit these November reports to President Trump annually every January starting in 2019.

Signup here…

Source Data: http://baac.certified.bz/

Buy American, Hire American President Trump

Snap-on CEO: Manufacturing has a PR Problem

By Published April 18, 2017Business Leaders FOXBusiness

Snap-on chairman and CEO Nick Pinchuk on President Trump’s visit to the company’s headquarters in Wisconsin.

Snap-on Chairman and CEO Nick Pinchuk said Tuesday he was pleased with President Trump’s “Buy American, Hire American” speech at the company’s headquarters in Wisconsin.

“We think we are one of the most quintessential manufacturers… More than just a phrase, it [Buy American, Hire American] creates and draws attention to the essential nature of American manufacturing to our country’s way forward,” Pinchuk told FOX Business’ Cheryl Casone.

The Snap-on executive said people no longer have respect for manufacturing jobs.

“From a Snap-on point of view, we think the seminal issue of our time is the upskilling of the American work force,” he said. “One of the reasons why the middle class has shrunk is because manufacturing jobs have reduced. Thirty percent have been lost in the last several decades.”

Apple’s Customers Will Pay A Premium For Made-In-USA Phone, Analyst Suggests

Trump tells manufacturers he will cut regulations, taxes, but must reshore

reuters

Reuters

CERTIFIED, INC. $20 MILLION FUNDING

CERTIFIED, INC. $20 MILLION FUNDING

Boca Raton, Florida – Nov. 21, 2016 – CERTIFIED, INC. has announced an agreement with Switzerland-based Galileo Asset Management SA (galileoam.com) to assist in the acquisition of $20 million of equity funding. Such funding will expedite CERTIFIED’s international distribution and usage of their breakthrough disruptive smartphone VERITY™ scanning app. Read more of this post

An iPhone made in the US? Apple is considering it….

iphone-mfg

Apple has reportedly asked key iPhone manufacturer,partners, namely Foxconn and Pegatron, to investigate ways to bring the iPhone assembly supply chain into the United States. Today, all iPhones (and almost all Apple products) are manufactured and assembled in China.

Is Apple looking into manufacturing the iPhone in the US?

On Thursday, the Japan-based business publication cited an anonymous source in reporting that Apple had asked the two Asia-based firms that assemble the device to examine the possibility of moving production to the States.

That request, to Foxconn Technology Group and Pegatron, came in June, the news outlet said.

Apple didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment on the report.

 Moving production to the States would address campaign rhetoric from now President-elect Donald Trump, who said in a speech in January that a Trump administration would “get Apple to build their damn computers and things in this country instead of in other countries.”

 

In a memo to employees last week, Apple CEO Tim Cook addressed strong reactions to Trump’s win and said, “We only do great work and improve the world by moving forward.”

Made in USA Certified Seal

 

Yummi Bears vitamins are falsely labeled as ‘MADE IN USA’

Legal News Line

Louie Torres

yummi-bears

CHICAGO (Legal Newsline) – An Illinois man alleges a Santa Ana, California, company uses misleading and inaccurate labels on its vitamins.

Matt Wisniewski filed a complaint on behalf of all others similarly situated in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division against Hero Nutritionals Inc. alleging violation of the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act, the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act and other counts.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges that he suffered damages as the result of being misled into purchasing the defendant’s Yummi Bears vitamins, which he believed to be domestically sourced because of the words “Made in the USA” on the label. The plaintiff holds Hero Nutritionals Inc. responsible because the defendant allegedly uses foreign-sourced ingredients in the vitamins and the Made in USA label is deceptive.

The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks injunction against the defendant, award plaintiff compensatory and punitive damages, all legal fees and interest, and any further relief the court grants. He is represented by John E. Norris of Davis & Norris LLP in Birmingham, Alabama, and Julie Simpson of Simpson Law Group in St. Charles, Illinois.

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division Case number 1:16-cv-07144

Original Link

http://legalnewsline.com/stories/510965828-consumer-alleges-yummi-bears-vitamins-are-falsely-labeled-as-made-in-usa

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.

Read more of this post

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