‘Made in the USA’ Claims: Handle With Care
Natural Product Insider cited the Competitive Enterprise Institute on the financial benefits to businesses caused by deregulation during the Trump Administration so far.
Despite the relaxation of U.S. enforcement of many federal regulations since the start of the Donald Trump Administration, one area where we continue to see continued (or even stepped up) regulatory activity relates to claims that products are “Made in the USA.” Three enforcement actions were announced in the first four months of 2018 against companies misleading consumers with this claim.
According to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), more than 1,500 proposed or not yet implemented Barack Obama-era regulations that were in the pipeline were withdrawn or delayed in the first 12 months of the Trump Administration, with plans to withdraw two regulations for every new one adopted in 2018. The Competitive Enterprise Institute estimated the savings to impacted businesses at approximately US$600 million annually. One area stands out in contrast to this tsunamiof deregulation — FTC’s increased activity in the enforcement of its “Made in the USA” standards. This should not come as a surprise though, as the Administration stated its intent to promote products that are actually “Made in America.”
‘Made in the USA’ Standards
Under the Standards first set out by FTC in 1997, “all or virtually all” of a product must be made/produced in the United States to legally bare an unqualified claim. In other words, such a product must have all its important components originating from United States sources, and final assembly or processing must take place in the United States. A “negligible” amount of foreign content is nevertheless permitted. U.S. content must be declared on automobiles and furs. No other law or regulation requires products sold in the United States to be labeled “Made in the USA” or have any other disclosure.