The Made in USA mark is a country of origin label that indicates the product is "all or virtually all" made in the United States. The label is regulated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
In general, goods imported into the United States must have a country of origin label unless excepted, but goods manufactured in the United States can be sold with no "Made in the USA" label unless explicitly required. U.S.-made goods that must bear an origin label include automobiles, textiles, wool, and fur products. Any voluntary claims about the amount of U.S. content in other products must comply with the FTC’s Made in USA policy.
A Made in USA claim can be expressed (for example, "American-made") or implied. In identifying implied claims, the Commission focuses on the overall impression of the advertising, label, or promotional material. Depending on the context, U.S. symbols or geographic references (for example, U.S. flags, outlines of U.S. maps, or references to U.S. locations of headquarters or factories) may convey a claim of U.S. origin either by themselves or in conjunction with other phrases or images.
In 1996 the FTC proposed that the requirement be stated as:
It will not be considered a deceptive practice for a marketer to make an unqualified U.S. origin claim if, at the time it makes the claim, the marketer possesses and relies upon competent and reliable evidence that: (1) U.S. manufacturing costs constitute 75% of the manufacturing costs for the product; and (2) the product was last substantially transformed in the United States.
However, this was just a proposal and never became part of the final guidelines published in the Federal Register in 1997.
On July 4, 2013 House Representative Steve Israel announced legislation that would require all U.S. national parks to sell merchandise that is Made in the USA.
Many manufacturers use the Made in the U.S.A. label as a selling point with varying degrees of success. This tag is associated with marketing and operational benefits, such as more appeal to certain buyers and lower shipping costs. When an American consumer sees a product is made in the U.S., they ought to perceive this as higher quality than a Chinese-made version. The decision where to produce is based on many factors, not simply direct product costs. Marketing and operations are both affected greatly by producing domestically.
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