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Is It Truly Made in the USA?

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There’s a good reason why President Abraham Lincoln was nicknamed “Honest Abe”. He was honest about everything he did. Fast forward a few hundred years: It’s not hard to imagine what Lincoln might have thought about the honesty of American companies touting a “Made in the USA” label on products that aren’t.

The FTC recently settled a “Made in the USA” case with E.K. Ekcessories. The company deceptively touted their outdoor equipment products as “Truly Made in the USA”, and misled consumers into thinking they were buying products that were 100 percent American-made. As it turns out, many of the components and materials of the products the company produced originated in other countries. 

The FTC has laws and guidelines to help businesses know when it’s appropriate to use the Made in USA label. That, in turn, helps consumers trust the labels they see.

  • A company that makes a “Made in the USA” or other United States origin claim for its product should be able to prove that all or almost all of that product was made in the United States. Products with these labels should contain virtually no material or components from other countries.
  • In general, products processed or finished in the USA that contain materials from other countries should not be labeled “Made in the USA” without further explanation. Look for qualifying statements near the claim that explain which components of the product come from the USA.
  • By law, most textiles and wool products must identify where they were made. If there isn’t a label for these types of products, try asking the retailer who may have more information. Keep in mind, however, that many products are not required to be labeled, nor are retailers required to disclose or mention information relating to such products.
  • 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.

Have a feeling that a product you bought recently isn’t “Made in USA” as labeled? File a complaint with the FTC.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit


Is there a place I can find companies and products that are honestly "Made in the USA"? Thank you for your service.

Does the NAFTA agreement allow for assembled-in-USA equipment with built-in Mexican and Canadian components to be labeled as Made in USA?

I am disgusted with NAFTA and the results of foreign intrusion into our national markets. Before and up to 1976 we could purchase clothes, shoes, tools, watches, and food products made entirely in the U.S.A.

Today most of our clothes are made in other countries that don't fit, are made of inferior materials, and wear out too fast. I have purchased dyed clothing that proved to have been dye-rejects and faded quickly. Threads and sections of coats are incorrectly and poorly sewn together. The inner linings of coats and shoes STINK when perspiration gets into them. All of the Chinese Made Shoes infect my feet and toenails with bacteria and they don't RESPECT OUR ANATOMICAL SIZES AND MEASUREMENT SCALES!

We have the know-how and materials to manufacture our own tools and yet there are so many inferior made foreign tools offered which degrades our economy and workmanship. The Germans trust GERMAN CRAFTSMANSHIP!

Foreign companies and investors are forcing our food costs higher than is reasonable because they are allowed to scale their costs with the inclusion of their own home based industries. Most Americans aren't aware that they have put the burden of carrying their market costs on OUR BACKS! A good indicator is the chocolate candy industry. Most of the chocolate candy on shelves are imports or owned by foreign companies. The quantities have gotten smaller and prices have dramatically increased. This is typical of how Europeans operate their economies. They offer little and price high.

Stop all of this foreign destruction of: our American industries, production, qualities, jobs, and satisfaction. Tell them to keep their greed and stinginess at home.

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