Why it matters
The Federal Trade Commission has been active in enforcing national origin claims in recent years, reminding advertisers that the FTC's Enforcement Policy Statement on U.S. Origin Claims requires that products labeled or advertised as "Made in the USA" must be "all or virtually all" made in the United States. State regulators, particularly in California where the state amended its national original law last year, may also institute enforcement actions.
Recently, "Made in the USA" claims were at issue in another FTC lawsuit, this time filed against Chemence, Inc., the maker of glue products such as Kwik Frame, Kwik Fix, and Krylex.
Although Chemence touted its fast-acting glues as "Made in the USA" and "Proudly Made in the USA," approximately 55 percent of the product cost is attributable to imported chemicals that are essential for the glue to function, the agency said.
In addition to its own unqualified deceptive claims, Chemence assisted third parties in duping consumers, the FTC alleged. The defendant also manufactures cyanoacrylate glues marketed under the brand names of other retailers, and by supplying "Made in the USA" marketing materials to those sellers to promote the glue products, the company provided others with the "means and instrumentalities" to deceive consumers in violation of the Federal Trade Commission Act.
The complaint, filed in Ohio federal court, requests monetary relief and an injunction that would permanently prohibit the defendant from making claims in violation of the Federal Trade Commission Act.
"For many shoppers, a claim that a product is made in the USA is a big selling point," Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a statement about the action. "Companies should not overstate the amount of U.S. content their products actually contain."
To read the complaint in FTC v. Chemence, Inc., click here.