Manufacturing & Distribution Client Advisory – FTC Polices “Made in USA” Claims
FTC Polices “Made in USA” Claims
Recently, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has pursued enforcement of allegedly deceptive “Made in USA” marketing claims, resolving accusations that four companies’ advertising violated the agency”s requirement that products be “all or virtually all” manufactured in the United States to substantiate domestic origin claims.
The agency issued each of the four companies a “closing letter”an administrative tool in which staff declines to recommend a formal enforcement action on the showing that a company has agreed to make changes to marketing and labeling.
The FTC takes the position that assembly, and performance of some manufacturing functions, in the United States, will not justify a “Made in USA” claim, if the products incorporate significant imported content. Claims other than “Made in USA” such as “Designed and assembled in USA” or “Made in USA of US and Global Parts” may be more appropriate in such circumstances.
One company agreed to a “comprehensive remedial action plan” that included “updating YouTube videos.” Another submitted a plan including “reviewing catalogues, signage, packaging and social media content to ensure the accuracy of claims for affected products.”
With the recent activity, the FTC has now sent 15 closing letters this year over “Made in USA” claims.
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