Summary of Action
TINA.org’s petition for rulemaking urged the FTC to enact a regulation that would give the agency the option to seek a monetary penalty against first-time offenders who blatantly ignore the law. Doing so would also promote a deterrent effect by changing the cost-benefit analysis of engaging in false Made in the USA marketing for many deceptive marketers, thereby increasing the agency’s impact on the marketplace and protecting not only consumers, but those businesses who play by the rules to support American manufacturing.
In June 2020, the FTC acted on TINA.org’s petition and proposed a made in the USA labeling rule that would allow the agency to seek civil penalties against first-time offenders, and in July 2021, the Commission voted to finalize the rule in a 3-2 vote. The rule will apply to product labels, as well as seals, marks, tags or stamps in mail order marketing (i.e., print or electronic advertising that solicit purchases without the consumer examining the actual product that’s for sale) that indicate the product is made in the United States. The proposed rule will not apply to what the FTC calls qualified claims, with qualifying language such as “made in the USA with imported parts.”