FTC: Made In The USA Comments Concerning John D. Parr--P894219
John Parr and Associates
July 26, 1997
Made in USA Policy Comment
I have been informed by Senator Spencer Abraham that your agency is receiving comments on the issue of modifying regulations regarding Made in USA labeling of consumer products. I would like to express my opinion on this matter.
The label, Made in USA, must be a truthful statement on the manufacturing and marketing process involved in producing a consumer product. We, the consuming public, have every right to know that this label means that the product was made in our country by American labor, business and manufacturers. Any effort to water down or modify the regulations regarding this label is a deliberate effort to perpetrate a fraud on the consuming public. Many of us make a concerted effort to look for the Made in USA label. We dont want to buy imported goods and add to the trade deficit we experience. That is our right and it should not be abrogated. Obviously, I am dead against any effort to change the regulations.
There is a smoke screen of terms used to confuse the public. Terms such as: "Safe harbors, substantially all", "substantially transformed" and "all or virtually all" should be eliminated and one and only one standard, made of domestic products and manufactured in our country should govern the use of Made in USA labeling.
American manufacturers do not need "flexibility" in the use of this term. Any effort to change the regulations to 75% domestic content is only a classic case of the camel's nose in the tent. Rest assured that if this becomes reality, they will be pushing for a figure of 51% in the not too distant future. Let them use domestic materials and labor to manufacture their products and use honest labeling. I am more interested in seeing our money spent here at home and not worry about the economy of China, Japan or any other Pacific rim countries. In recent years we hear about the Global Economy and Free Trade. We seem to be the only country that sincerely believes in these terms. Japan and China interpret Free Trade to mean, we will trade our products for your dollars but we will not give you open access to our market. We still go hat in hand and beg them to open their market to our products and they laugh in our face. Don't we, the public, politicians and bureaucrats, ever learn that we will never crack their markets like they do ours until we
impose similar restrictions on their products. We need a level playing field. Trade deficits of $50 billion to each of these countries certainly should be a wake-up call that we are losing the trade battle. We should instead strive for a balance of trade as some European countries are doing. All of which makes it more critical that the label, Made in USA, be honest and mean what it says.
I am concerned that the comment period was not mentioned in newspaper articles about this issue. I assume it was announced in the Federal Register, but how many average citizens have - access to or read that publication. Obviously the majority of comments will be from manufacturing and marketing firms. You really should get a readout on the opinion of the general public. You do represent the consuming public as well as the manufacturers.
Again, do not water down the regulations. Make sure that Made in USA means precisely that and nothing less.
Thank you for allowing me to express my opinion on this issue.
John D. Parr
John D. Parr