ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - 10

[FairTrade]

Keep 'Made in USA' Claims
Red, White, and True
By Lesley Fair

E

ven as the retail
marketplace grows
globally, many companies advertise their
products as "Made
in USA." They know
that for some consumers it's the attribute that cements
the sale. That's why the Federal Trade
Commission (FTC) wants to make
sure that Made in USA claims-like all
objective product representations-are
accurate and backed by appropriate evidence. Are you keeping your Made in
USA claims red, white, and true?
Specific laws require companies to
disclose U.S. content only for two
categories of product: (1) automobiles
and (2) textile, wool, and fur items.
Aside from that, there is no general
FTC requirement dictating that
companies disclose the extent to which
their products are made in the United
States. That said, the FTC's prohibition
on deception still applies. If a company
says its products are Made in USA, the
claim has to be true.
The basic legal standard has been in
place for decades. For a manufacturer
or marketer to make an unqualified
claim that a product is Made in USA,
"all or virtually all" of it must be U.S.made. (A note on FTC parlance: An
"unqualified" claim means a representation without caveats or limitations.)
In other words, all significant parts and
processing that go into the product
must be of U.S. origin. The product
should contain no (or negligible) foreign content.
How does the "all or virtually all"
standard apply to a product made of
lots of components? How far back
in the manufacturing process do

10

electronicRetailer | July-August 2017

Lesley Fair is an attorney
with the FTC's Bureau of
Consumer Protection.

manufacturers and marketers need to
look? What if the item is manufactured in the U.S. from raw materials
sourced elsewhere? Those are just some
of the questions answered in FTC's
Complying with the Made in USA
Standard brochure.

Made in USA
isn't a 'take our
word for it'
kind of claim.
Even if a product doesn't meet the
"all or virtually all" standard, there still
may be a way to accurately highlight
the work done in this country. If a
product was substantially transformed
in the United States without further
processing abroad, a company may be
able to make a "qualified" (limited)
Made in USA claim.
Examples of qualified claims could
include "60 percent U.S. content,"
"Made in USA of U.S. and imported
parts," or "chair assembled in United
States from Italian leather and Mexican
frame." Manufacturers and marketers

should exercise caution to make sure
qualified claims don't imply more
domestic content than the evidence
supports. Prudent companies avoid
qualified claims unless the product has
a significant amount of U.S. content or
U.S. processing.
Two other Made in USA pointers:
Companies can convey Made in
USA claims expressly or by implication. Depending on the context,
symbols such as the American flag or
an outline of a U.S. map may convey a
Made in USA claim alone, or in conjunction with other phrases or images.
Have you checked your website, packaging, labeling, etc., to see if you could
be conveying a claim by implication?
Made in USA isn't a "take our word
for it" kind of claim. Before making
any objective representation-including a Made in USA claim-your
company must have a reasonable
basis to support what you convey to
consumers.
For more information, the FTC
Business Center, business.ftc.gov, has
a special portal where businesses will
find Complying with the Made in USA
Standard, announcements about recent
Made in USA cases, and other compliance resources.


http://business.ftc.gov

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ER Magazine - July/August 2017

Happenings
Bottom Line
Out & About
Dispatches
Retail Movers
Dish With Rick Petry
Fair Trade
Making The Brand
Agency Insights
Law & Orders
25 Years of Tristar
Direct to Digital
Smart Buy
Classifieds
Advertisers’ Index
DR 101
Parting Shot
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - Cover1
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - Cover2
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - Happenings
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - Bottom Line
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - Out & About
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - Dispatches
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - 5
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - Retail Movers
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - 7
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - Dish With Rick Petry
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - 9
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - Fair Trade
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - Making The Brand
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - Agency Insights
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - 13
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - Law & Orders
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - 15
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - 25 Years of Tristar
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - 17
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - 18
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - 19
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - Direct to Digital
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - 21
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - 22
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - 23
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - Smart Buy
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - Advertisers’ Index
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - DR 101
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - 27
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - Parting Shot
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - Cover3
ER Magazine - July/August 2017 - Cover4
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