FTC challenges company’s Made in USA claims

Share This Page

Why do so many companies advertise their products as “Made in the USA”?  Because they know that for a lot consumers, it’s an important attribute that may affect their choice of what to buy. The FTC has filed suit alleging that Chemence, Inc., falsely claimed that certain of its glue products were “Made in the USA” – or even “Proudly Made in the USA.”

According to the complaint, Chemence represents that its cyanoacrylate glues – strong, fast-acting glues – are all or virtually all made in the United States. But the FTC alleges that a significant proportion of the costs of the chemical components of Chemence’s cyanoacrylate glues – approximately 55% – are attributable to imported chemicals that are essential to the glues’ function. Therefore, according to the complaint, Chemence’s claims were deceptive because the glues are actually made in the USA with both domestic and imported materials.

But Chemence doesn’t just make its own products. It also manufactures cyanoacrylate glues marketed under the brand names of other retailers.  According to the FTC, those products, too, feature deceptive Made in USA claims. Thus, the complaint alleges that Chemence provided others with the “means and instrumentalities” to deceive consumers.

Made in USA claims for glues have been the subject of discussion in documents posted on the FTC’s Made in USA page for businesses. FTC staff has sent closing letters to other companies who were making similar claims for glues manufactured with both domestic and imported materials. Those letters remind advertisers of the FTC’s “all or virtually all” standard and explain why changes the companies made to their claims led staff to recommend no further action. (That page includes letters to advertisers in many different industries who responded to FTC inquiries about potentially deceptive representations by reformulating their ad claims with the “all or virtually all” standard in mind – and thus reached an informal resolution.)

The case is pending in federal court in Ohio.

Looking for more information about Made in USA claims? Read Complying with the Made in USA Standard for guidance on how the FTC applies Section 5 of the FTC Act in this context.

Comments

We have encountered many food items stating "made in USA" however in fine print some products "said of imported products" thereby negating the claim to MADE IN USA! I guess the FDA would/should investigate ? Thank you for looking out for the interest of the people of the USA!

I had an issue like this related to Intraoral Cameras, in the end "Designed in the USA" made more sense.

Add new comment

Comment Policy

Privacy Act Statement

It is your choice whether to submit a comment. If you do, you must create a user name, or we will not post your comment. The Federal Trade Commission Act authorizes this information collection for purposes of managing online comments. Comments and user names are part of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) public records system (PDF), and user names also are part of the FTC’s computer user records system (PDF). We may routinely use these records as described in the FTC’s Privacy Act system notices. For more information on how the FTC handles information that we collect, please read our privacy policy.