FTC: Made In The USA Comments Concerning Dan Coats--P894219
United States Senate
June 4, 1997
Dear Ms. Kando-Pineda:
Enclosed please find correspondence which I have received from an Indiana constituent. I would like to offer this letter for inclusion in the current public comment period.
In advance, I thank you for your consideration.
May 6, 1997
Senator Dan Coats
Dear Senator Coats:
I am a boy scout in troop 405 in Terre Haute, Indiana. I am working on my Citizenship in the Nation merit badge and one of the requirements is to write a letter to an elected official about a national issue. I would like to address a recent article found in our local newspaper entitled, "Relaxing 'Made in USA' label".
To my family, and a lot of other Americans, the words "Made in the USA" mean a lot. It means that we are supporting the United States of America. We live in a great country where we have much more than any other country on earth, in addition to much more freedoms; and we should support it with all our might. Without the support of all Americans we could lose some of what we have, with the loss of jobs and money. The "Made in the USA" label on our purchases should mean they are made from American components, made with the labor of the American people, and manufactured and parceled in the United States of America. To relax this standard of labeling would be deceiving to the people who are making purchases, and could take away many American jobs. If we don't look out for the people and jobs in America, who will? It means a lot to know we are supporting the people of the United States when we look for the label "Made in USA", and to know we are helping in our own way to support our country. If we buy American, we will be giving more jobs to the people of the United States and making our economy grow.
In conclusion, I would appreciate your support of this cause in striving to make our country strong by backing an effort to be honest with the people of America about the source of products sold.
A4 - TRIBUNE-STAR - Tuesday, May 6, 1997
Relaxing 'Made in USA' label
Unions quick to criticize proposals
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The government wants to give manufacturers more leeway in promoting their products as Made in USA even if some of the parts originate overseas.
In proposing new guidelines Monday, the Federal Trade Commission said it wanted to ensure that consumers are not deceived when they see a Made in USA label and also make sure that American manufacturers have enough flexibility to meet global competition.
The agencys proposal drew quick criticism from labor unions. The AFL-CIO said any weakening of the FTCs standards would make the label a fraud on the American public and open the door even wider to the export of U.S. jobs
But Robin Lanier, from the International Mass Retail Association, said the proposal was a step in the right direction.
She said it would allow manufacturers who use one or two foreign components in their products to make the claim honestly that they are making things in the United States.
Under current rules, companies cant make that claim if a product has more than a small amount of foreign content. While the percentage of non-U.S. content has never been specifically set, FTC officials said it is a very small or insignificant percentage.
The issue has become more complicated as products sold here increasingly have gotten components from several different countries or have been manufactured outside the United States.
The proposed guides, which do not cover automobiles, wool, fur or textiles, would allow a product to be called Made in USA if substantially all was made in America. This means that:
In other words, if a bicycle is assembled in the Untied States, if its frame is manufactured in the United States, if only a few of its components are imported and if the overall U.S. costs are 75 percent of the total, the FTC says it would likely not be deceptive for the bicycle to be labeled ?Made in USA.
But if a toaster is made from primarily U.S. parts and is assembled in Canada in a process that constitutes a substantial transformation, it would be deceptive to call it American- made even if the U.S. costs accounted for 75 percent of the total costs.
If a product does not meet these standards, marketers may still make a qualified claim saying what portion was made in America and what portion was made in America and what portion was made abroad. The labels would read Made in USA of U.S. and imported parts or U.S. Content: 50%
For instance, a typewriter produced in America from a mix of U.S. and imported parts with U.S. costs making up 60 percent of the total could be labeled 60% American Made.
The FTCs guidelines are not yet final. The agency will accept written comments until Aug. 11. After reviewing them, it can accept, reject or modify the proposed guides.