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"Made in the USA" means it is made in the USA

Posted by Clyde Hutchins | Feb 09, 2017 | 0 Comments

When a company claims that its products are "Made in the USA," the products should really be made in the USA.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently drove home this point in a case against a water filtration system distributor in Georgia. The FTC entered a settlement with the distributor based on the FTC's claims that the company deceived consumers with false, misleading and unsupported claims that its water filtration systems were “Built in USA,” “Built in USA Legendary brand of water filter,” and “Proudly Built in the USA.” The FTC claims that despite these claims regarding the country of origination, the products were made overseas or mostly from parts that came from overseas. 

Under the settlement, the distributor is prohibited from making “Made in USA” claims for any product unless it can show that the product's final assembly or processing – and all significant processing – take place in the United States, and that all or virtually all ingredients or components of the product are made and sourced in the United States. The distributor is also prohibited from making any country of origin representations about its products unless it has and relies upon a reasonable basis for such a statement. 

The take away from this settlement is that origination claims matter. It is deceptive to claim that a product is made in the USA when it is not, and such an unsupported claim could subject a company to liability under the FTC Act or state consumer protection laws.

About the Author

Clyde Hutchins

Clyde Hutchins is the founder of Harmony Law. Prior to opening Harmony Law, Mr. Hutchins worked in the Wyoming Attorney General's Office for several years where he developed a strong consumer protection enforcement unit. In that position he led over 120 investigations and enforcement actions under the Consumer Protection Act. He worked on numerous joint cases with the Federal Trade Commission and other states, including Colorado, on consumer protection matters. Mr. Hutchins is also a contributing author to Consumer Protection Law Developments, Second Edition. Previous to his work in the Attorney General's Office, Mr. Hutchins was in private practice in Anchorage, Alaska where he was the chief litigator for a firm. Mr. Hutchins represented municipalities on various matters. Mr. Hutchins provided counsel to businesses and investment advisors regarding compliance with securities laws. He was also a bond lawyer and worked on municipal financing matters. Prior to that, Mr. Hutchins practiced civil litigation with a law firm in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Mr. Hutchins devotes his spare time to his family, traveling and enjoying the great outdoors.

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Harmony Law is one of the few law firms in Colorado and Wyoming that focuses on consumer law. Mr. Hutchins is a member of the National Association of Consumer Advocates and state chair for Wyoming. If you have a consumer law issue, please feel free to call 970-488-1857 and speak with Mr. Hutchins.

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