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Prefer Products Born in the USA? Be Sure to Check the Label

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As Springsteen’s timeless classic reminds us, patriotism never goes out of style. What’s more, many consumers prefer clothing, cars and other products bearing a label proudly claiming it to be “Born in the USA.”

Naturally, we expect “Made in the USA” product claims to be as honest as young George Washington when he copped to chopping down his dad’s cherry tree. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. That’s why the FTC wants you to know there are laws and guidelines to help you understand exactly what you’re buying — particularly if you prefer to “buy American:”

  • “Made in the USA” legally means all or almost all the product was made in America. In other words, products with this label should contain practically no material from other countries.
  • If an automobile, textile, or wool product is “Made in the USA,” the label should say that. Other products don’t have to bear this label.
  • Labels on textile and wool products must identify where the product was made.
  • The law requires automobiles made since October 1, 1994, for sale in the U.S,. to have a label stating where the car was assembled. The label also must specify the percentage of equipment made in the U.S. and Canada, and the country where the engine and transmission were made.

If you believe a product promoted as "Made in USA" is not American-made or contains significant foreign parts or processing, file a complaint with the FTC.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit


Hi I am very glad I can get some of the FTC resources. It really lets people think twice of what they are buying. US made brands are still 1st choice to many citizens. It's unfortunate that I have heard in some countries when going through customs some people are reselling bringing in second hand fake brands and selling them for big bucks. I understand that the Phillipenes is one of the countries well known for this. Just an insight to wonder. Where should consumers report it?

What about food products? I see many that do not indicate where it was sourced, or it says packed in the USA which may mean the product itself came from somewhere else. We need to know where our food originates so that when we hear of a quality problem or human rights violation, we can immediately act using our purchasing power. This kind of impact to their bottom line will encourage fast resolution of quality problems and social change.

When did FTC adopt labeling laws requiring foreign producers to show country of origin etc on that which was ship'd to USA ?


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