Summary of Action

In August 2019, TINA.org filed a petition requesting that the Federal Trade Commission use its rulemaking authority to expand its enforcement abilities and better defend the Made in USA marketing designation. In the past few years, TINA.org has exposed a number of companies deceptively marketing products as Made in the USA, including Williams-Sonoma, Mercedes-Benz, Gillette, Walmart, and Target, among others, all of which highlight the need for the FTC to have greater enforcement authority in order to effectively police this common marketing strategy.

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 July 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. The FTC proposed that the rule 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 would not apply to what the FTC calls qualified claims, with qualifying language such as “made in the USA with imported parts.”

Whether the proposed rule is enacted remains to be seen. Check back for updates.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Tags:



Leave a Reply

Back to Top ↑