On September 26, 2019, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC” or “Commission”) will host a public workshop to enhance its understanding of consumer perception of “Made in the USA” and other U.S.-origin claims, and to consider whether it can improve its “Made in USA” enforcement program.
Though the Commission has not issued regulations specifically covering “Made in USA” and other U.S.-origin claims, its 1997 Enforcement Policy Statement On U.S. Origin Claims (“Policy Statement”) provides guidance on how the Commission applies Section 5 of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. § 45(a), to the use of such claims in advertising and labeling. Based on consumer research and thousands of public comments, the Policy Statement states that when a marketer makes an unqualified “Made in USA” claim, the marketer should, at the time of the representation, have a reasonable basis for asserting that “all or virtually all” of the product is, in fact, made in the United States. The Policy Statement also provides guidance to marketers on how to make appropriately qualified claims.
The workshop will begin by summarizing research on consumer perception of U.S.-origin claims, and will include panels to discuss policy issues and appropriate enforcement measures and remedies. The panels will include experts representing a wide range of perspectives, including industry representatives (large and small manufacturers, retailers, etc.) and consumer groups.