Do you ever buy products specifically because they say they were “Made in the USA”? Many consumers prefer to support the domestic economy by buying American made products instead of imports and trust the “Made in the USA” labels to tell them which is which. The Federal Trade Commission wants to make sure this trust isn’t broken.
Sometimes, products that claim to have been “Made in the USA” aren’t actually American! A recent court case involving the FTC pointed to a larger problem about domestic labeling on this issue. Consumers need to be able to trust the labels that go on products, so they can purchase with confidence. Let’s see how the FTC is stepping up to make that happen:
Stopping the “Made in the USA” Lie
Not every product that says it’s “Made in the USA” is lying to you. Many products actually were created here in the United States. Put simply, the less complicated the product, the more likely that it was, in fact, made completely in the United States. The aforementioned court case shows us why.
The FTC just recently settled with a company called E.K. Ekcessories. E.K. Ekcessories had been selling a variety of products whose labels claimed they were made right here in the United States.
The problem with this “Made in the USA” claim was the fact that many components that went into E.K. Ekcessories’ products were actually made in other countries. They were then brought to the United States, where they became a part of a product that says “Made in the USA” on its label.
The Federal Trade Commission felt that this was misleading to consumers.
The FTC Sets the Record Straight
In order to make sure consumers can trust the labels they see claiming products were made in the United States, they’ve developed a set of guidelines and laws that manufacturers are supposed to follow.
For instance, in order to sell your product with a “Made in the USA” label, a company must be able to prove that the item was, in fact, completely assembled and built in the United States.
If components that come from other countries are going to be used, the manufacturer of the product also has to clarify that on the label.
Of course, the FTC also offers a few words of caution:
“Keep in mind, however, that many products are not required to be labeled, nor are retailers required to disclose or mention information relating to such products.”
Think You’ve Been Misled?
If you think you’ve been misled by a product claiming to have been created right here in the States that was actually produced overseas, the best course of action is to file a complaint with the FTC.
Hopefully, this will prompt an investigation, and the product will be taken off the shelves and/or relabeled.
You can also file a complaint right here at Scambook.
Do you have any tips for avoiding misleading products like this? Do you prefer to buy “Made in the USA” products even if they may cost a little more money than their imported counterparts? Share your thoughts in the comments.