In light of President Trump’s increased focus and emphasis on “Made in America,” a better understanding of current regulations regarding country of origin is important. Under the current Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines, a product may be advertised as “Made in USA” if “all or virtually all” of the parts and processing significant to the product are of domestic origin.
Manufacturers may find compliance with the legal requirements for labeling and advertising domestic products under the restrictive FTC guidelines is tough; however, the guidance does allow flexibility in some situations. According to the Office of Textiles and Apparel (OTEXA), the FTC allows a product that is completely manufactured in the United States, and comprised of materials primarily from the United States, to be described as “Made in USA” if it only has a “very small amount of foreign content.” However, manufacturers may find compliance with the legal requirements for labeling and advertising in this situation tricky as the amount of foreign content that the FTC finds permissible is not clearly defined. In situations where the product’s foreign content is truly negligible, this approach may be viable. FTC guidelines permit a company to advertise a product as “Made in USA” by softening or “qualifying” the claim so that the labeling clearly suggests that the product has foreign and domestic materials – for example, that the product is “Made in USA of U.S. and imported parts.” However, there remains ambiguity in the FTC’s guidance on what types of “qualified” claims are permissible.
Manufacturers in California must comply with the California statute on “Made in USA.” The state has amended its statute to bring it in line with FTC guidelines and now allows manufacturers to advertise a product as “Made in USA” as long as the foreign components of the product “constitute not more than 5 percent of the final wholesale value” of the product, or if the manufacturer can show that it cannot produce or obtain the foreign components from a domestic source and those components “constitute no more than 10 percent of the final wholesale value” of the product.
Join this webinar with distinguished practitioner Francis A. Citera, where he will review both the current regulatory landscape for advertising and labeling products as “Made in USA,” as well as real life examples that have resulted in litigation. He will discuss the permissions required for a product containing foreign elements to still be termed as “Made in USA.” He will also discuss the extent to which consumers are willing to settle for costlier “Made in America” products.
Who Should Attend
Ask a question at the Q&A session following the live event and get advice unique to your situation, directly from our expert speaker.
- Shawn K. Stevens
Francis A. Citera is co-chair of the Greenberg Traurig’s Products Liability & Mass Torts Litigation Group. Frank has over 30 years of experience defending toxic tort actions and other complex litigation in both federal and state courts. He has successfully represented several retailers in a series of putative class action lawsuits alleging that the retailers deceptively marketed and advertised several of their products as “Made in USA” when,...
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