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.

A color photo of the label on the inside of a tee-shirt.

This shirt’s label clearly states that it was not made in the USA, effectively keeping it from any violation.

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?

A color photo of a pipe with a label on it that says "Made in the USA."

Was it really “Made in the USA”?

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.


See Also

FTC Busts Scammer for Fake Free iPhone, iPad Spam Text Messages
FTC: Makers of Disney and Marvel Kids’ Vitamins to Pay $425,000 Settlement
Consumer Victory: FTC Busts World’s Biggest Debt Collector

2 Responses

  1. Andrea Johnston

    I make every effort to buy and support American made products. It’s important that we strengthen our country from within and help create jobs by increasing demand for USA products. If I am interested in an import I make sure it is a “Fair Trade” product before I purchase it. That way I know the people that are making the products are getting a fair price for their work and efforts are made to promote desirable working conditions.

  2. Norman Jones

    I Agree,I Try To Buy American Made Products,But,It’s Hard To Find Them Due To So Many Being Imported From China!! I Don’t Know if These Imports Are Made By American Companies That Moved Over Seas Or By Chinese Companies! I Feel As An American Citizen That I Should Buy Products That Are Made Here To Boost Our Economy Instead Of Theirs And Wish More Americans Would Also Do The Same!! Sincerely A Patriot American!!


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