FTC Approves Consent Orders Against 2 Companies for False “Made in the USA” Claims
Recently, the Federal Trade Commission has approved final consent orders against Patriot Puck and Sandpiper/PiperGear in which the agency alleged that companies falsely claimed their products were made in the United States. In both cases, much of the products finished goods were imported or had imported components. Marketers and manufacturers that promote their products as Made in the USA must meet the “all or virtually all” standard.
Under the terms of the final orders, Statler and the four Patriot Puck companies, as well as Sandpiper and PiperGear, are prohibited from making unqualified U.S.-origin claims for their products, unless they can show that the products’ final assembly or processing—and all significant processing—takes place in the United States and that all or virtually all ingredients or components of the product are made and sourced in the United States. Furthermore, any qualified Made in USA claim must include a clear and conspicuous disclosure about the extent to which the product contains foreign parts, ingredients, and/or processing. To claim that a product is assembled in the United States, the respondents in both cases must ensure that it is last substantially transformed in the United States, its principal assembly takes place in the United States, and United States assembly operations are substantial.
The orders also prohibit the respondents from making untrue, misleading, or unsubstantiated country-of-origin claims in their marketing materials about any product or service.
The Commission has an Enforcement Policy Statement on U.S. Origin Claims, and other business guidance on how companies can comply with the “Made in the USA” standard.
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