FTC: Made In The USA Comments Concerning Mike Schofield--P894219
May 12, 1997
Made in the USA Policy Comment
I am writing to you today to express my great concern over proposed changes in the "Made in USA" content laws.
There are few things of which I feel more strongly than this issue. Because of world wide trade these days, I realize that companies feel they are forced to manufacture their products overseas to lower their manufacturing cost. However, I feel this is mainly motivated by greed. It is the opportunity to pay little or nothing for workers who labor often in terrible conditions to manufacture products for multinational companies. This I believe is solely done to enhance their profits. These companies do not want to take the time and effort necessary to invest in modern American manufacturing plants and spend the time to properly train American workers. These companies take the easy way out. Now they desire to change the content laws to meet their needs.
This is rubbish!
When a label says "Made in the USA" - That is exactly what it should mean. I ask only that labels reveal the actual origin of the product. Consumers should have the choice of whether to buy "Made in the USA" product (as my family and I do) or buy a product made elsewhere. When products are manufactured overseas and only assembled in the USA, then that is exactly what the label should state. Items such as shirts and other products could be labeled "Assembled in the USA of imported components". Also other items should have percentage of foreign content. The only thing I would add to this is to utilize as a basis for computation the percentage of manufacturing cost incurred overseas. It is not fair to figure the percentage on the retail price. This completely distorts the content percentages and provides unreal numbers.
Please remember this point as you study this issue to make a decision. This is more than simply a truth in advertising issue. This is a World Wide Credibility Issue. American products are known and sought for the value they hold in the buyers eye. Made in the USA should mean just that. Expand your scope of thoughts to think of the value people in other parts of the world place in the "Made in USA" label.
If we change this - to allow 25-30 or 50% foreign content in a product and still have a "Made in the USA" label - I ask you - Where is our credibility as a nation? Are we to be known as the nation that mislabels its products for world wide consumption? Where does the value of our word as a nation go? -- Out the window.
Finally here is the best reason to keep this label accurate - Simply it is this - AMERICA IS THE HOPE OF THE WORLD. We alone had the economic power to save Europe in W.W.I and W.W.II. Also, to defeat the Soviet Union in the cold War. I ask you, could we have done those things if our manufacturing base had been so weakened that we could not have produced the armaments, foodstuff, uniforms, etc., to enable us to save Europe and defeat Japan? This is what will happen if we continue to move manufacturing overseas. It is a travesty to deceive the Americans and the rest of the world as to the quality of US poducts when in fact they are not made in the USA.
My concern is that we should even be discussing this issue. The Truth is the Truth. Please don't let the current misplaced corporate greed over shadow the historical importance of this issue. Don't let the pressure from some people who are, although corporate chiefs, obviously are uneducated as to the importance of maintaining America's strength.
This issue is more that about just a label - upon it could very well be the future of our place in the world.