Guidelines for “Made In USA” Statements Issued By FTC

If you suspect that a business is misleading consumers with false or unauthorized "Made in USA" or "America Certification" labels on their products, it's not just your right but also your civic duty to report this fraudulent activity. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) rigorously enforces its standard for these labels to ensure that consumers can trust they are purchasing goods that are almost entirely manufactured within the United States, and that support American jobs. This standard also serves to protect the integrity of American craftsmanship and the U.S. economy. Reporting such violations helps maintain the credibility and value of the "Made in USA" certification, thereby preserving consumer trust and American pride. 

You may be entitled to a significant reward for reporting this kind of fraud, and privacy protections are in place to safeguard whistleblowers. By reporting, you help ensure that this valuable certification remains a reliable marker of quality and U.S. origin.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued clear guidelines on the use of “Made in USA,” and statements with a similar connotation, in product labeling, advertising and marketing of products in the United States. The FTC is charged with preventing deception and unfairness in the marketplace, and has the power to bring law enforcement actions against false or misleading claims that a product is of U.S. origin.

Traditionally, the FTC has required that a product labeled “Made in USA” be "all or virtually all" made in the U.S. After a comprehensive review of “Made in USA” and other U.S. origin claims in product advertising and labeling, the FTC announced in December 1997 that it would maintain the standards. At that time, the FTC also issued an Enforcement Policy Statement on U.S. Origin Claims to provide guidance to marketers who want to make an unqualified “Made in USA” claim under the "all or virtually all" standard and those who want to make a qualified “Made in USA” claim.

The FTC’s publication provides additional guidance about how to comply with the "qualified" standard. It also offers general information about the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (“Customs”) requirement that all products of foreign origin imported into the U.S. be marked with the name of the country of origin.

The Tariff Act of 1930 gives Customs the authority to administer the legal requirement that imported goods be marked with their country of origin (for example, "Made in Japan") provided for in Section 304 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. § 1304).

If You Suspect Fraud:
If you suspect a business or organization is defrauding consumers with misleading claims and/or outright false claims of the “Made in USA”, or “Product of USA” labeling on their products and/or advertising and marketing—don’t be afraid to report it.  Not only is it the right thing to do, but, you may be entitled to a significant reward.

Your Protection as a “Whistle-blower”:
Privacy Protection: When reporting fraud, you do not need to disclose your identity unless you wish to. All information disclosed to the attorney representing you is subject to the attorney-client privilege, which means that it cannot be disclosed to any other party without your permission. You should therefore, only discuss this information with an attorney who is evaluating your case.