Country of origin labelling laws

So far during his presidential election campaign, Donald Trump has sold more than $US6 million worth of official merch, including his iconic Make America Great Again caps (available in the traditional American colours red, white, blue, and camo). However, despite Donald's antiforeigners, pro wallbuilding policies, it seems the claim that his caps are Made in the USA is not entirely true. An investigation has found that some of the caps used fabrics made offshore.

Leaving the political implications aside, what does the law say about country of origin labelling? In the States you can only claim "Made in USA" if the product is made from materials all or virtually all from the United States.

Here in Oz, you can make a country of origin claim (eg "Made in Australia") so long as it's not false or misleading. The easiest way to defend your claim is to meet one of the legislated safe harbour defences. For a `Made in Australia' claim that means:

  1. the goods must be substantially transformed in Australia. Putting your logo on a Chinese made wool vneck wouldn't pass the test. But knitting one yourself here from Chinese wool would be fine (not that we would ever do that) and
  2. fifty per cent or more of the production costs must be incurred in Australia. There's a specific formula for calculating this, and it includes expenditure on materials, labour and overheads.

'Produce of' or `Grown in' type claims can get a bit more complicated, and as we've mentioned previously, for food there are brand new laws which require things like a nifty bar graph showing the percentage of Australian content.