Since we feature Made in the U.S.A. products in our blog we thought it would be a good idea to let you know what the term Made in the U.S.A. actually means.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is charged with preventing deception and unfairness in the marketplace. The FTC Act gives the Commission the power to bring law enforcement actions against false or misleading claims that a product is of U.S. origin. Traditionally, the Commission has required that a product advertised as Made in USA be "all or virtually all" made in the U.S. After a comprehensive review of Made in USA and other U.S. origin claims in product advertising and labeling, the Commission announced in December 1997 that it would retain the "all or virtually all" standard. The Commission also issued an Enforcement Policy Statement on U.S. Origin Claims to provide guidance to marketers who want to make an unqualified Made in USA claim under the "all or virtually all" standard and those who want to make a qualified Made in USA claim.
What products does the FTC’s Made in USA policy apply to?
The policy applies to all products advertised or sold in the U.S., except for those specifically subject to country-of-origin labeling by other laws. Other countries may have their own country-of-origin marking requirements. As a result, exporters should determine whether the country to which they are exporting imposes such requirements.
Brand names and trademarksOrdinarily, the Commission will not consider a manufacturer or marketer’s use of an American brand name or trademark by itself as a U.S. origin claim. Similarly, the Commission is not likely to interpret the mere listing of a company’s U.S. address on a package label in a non-prominent way as a claim of U.S. origin.
Example: A product is manufactured abroad by a well-known U.S. company. The fact that the company is headquartered in the U.S. also is widely known. Company pamphlets for its foreign-made product prominently feature its brand name. Assuming that the brand name does not specifically denote U.S. origin (that is, the brand name is not "Made in America, Inc."), using the brand name by itself does not constitute a claim of U.S. origin.
What substantiation is required for a Made in USA claim?When a manufacturer or marketer makes an unqualified claim that a product is Made in USA, it should have — and rely on — a "reasonable basis" to support the claim at the time it is made. This means a manufacturer or marketer needs competent and reliable evidence to back up the claim that its product is "all or virtually all" made in the U.S.
If what you buy and where it is made is important to you, check to see if MI Printing can help you with your printing needs? Give us a call at 623.582.1302 and let’s find out!
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