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December 4, 1998

FTC Decides To Keep "Made in USA" Label Simple, Honest, and American

Reversal Marks Major Victory For "Made in USA" Coalition

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Dec. 1, 1997) -- In a dramatic reversal hailed by the Made in USA Coalition, the Federal Trade Commission today announced that it will not proceed with plans to lower the standard for the use of the "Made in USA" label and instead will continue to enforce the current labor standard.

The Commission pointedly refused to give final approval to its own proposal, unveiled last May 5, to allow the "Made in USA" label to be applied to products with 25 percent or more foreign content. Instead, the Commissioners decided to maintain the current standard for the label, which requires that products promoted as "Made in USA" be "all or virtually all" made in the USA with only de minimis or negligible foreign content.

"'Made in USA' will continue to mean made in the U.S.A.," said David Flory, a spokesman for the Made in USA Coalition. "The FTC's decision to keep the 'Made in USA' label simple, honest and all-American is a tremendous victory for consumers and for American working men and women who proudly make their products here in the U.S.A."

"The FTC deserves praise for listening to the American people before it finalized its proposal to water down the 'Made in USA' labe," Flory said.

"American consumers had some incredible champions in the Congress who defended a strong and honest 'Made in USA' label," Flory said, noting in particular the leadership shown by U.S. Representatives Bob Franks (R-NJ) and John Dingell (D-MI) and U.S. Senators Ernest Hollings (D-SC) and Spencer Abraham (R-MI).

Reps. Franks and Dingell were the primary cosponsors in the House of Representatives of legislation (H.Con.Res. 80) opposing the FTC plan to weaken the label. The Franks-Dingell resolution won the cosponsorship of 226 House Members from both parties, a rare level of cosponsorship support comprising an outright majority of the House.

In the Senate, companion legislation that was only recently introduced by Senators Hollings and Abraham quickly earned the cosponsorship of both Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-MS) and Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) and of one quarter of the entire Senate.

Flory also praised the members of the Made in USA Coalition, comprised of 100 consumer groups, businesses and business organizations, labor unions, and agriculture, organizations, in fighting to support the current label standard.

"The members of the Made in USA Coalition did an outstanding job of alerting the American people and their representatives to the danger that this proposal represented to American consumers and to U.S. jobs," Flory said. "All parts of the Coalition -- consumers, labor, business and agricultural groups -- pulled together as modern day Paul Reveres to let the FTC and the Congress know exactly how America felt about watering down our label."

"Everyone associated with this campaign deserves to feel a special pride whenever they see a 'Made in USA' label from now on," he added.


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