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Made in the U.S.A products

Assembled in the U.S.A products

Many manufacturers use the Made in the U.S.A. label as a selling point with varying degrees of success. American companies have largely focused their manufacturing operations in poorer nations, largely China where labor is cheaper and labor and environmental laws are comparatively insignificant.

Many Americans view this trend with disdain for a variety of reasons.

Some worry that their nation has lost both industrial capacity and essential manufacturing jobs, some may be concerned with the exploitation of non-American workers in sweatshops while others believe that this has drastically decreased the general availability of high quality products. Therefore a product bearing a Made in the U.S.A. label can appeal to an American who seeks high quality products produced domestically under American labor and environmental laws.

The situation for US manufacturers who export, particularly high-tech manufacturers, is a bit more complex. Some countries, such as Japan, require country-of-origin statements when goods are imported, but US companies are prohibited from making an unqualified "Made in USA" claim unless "all or substantially all" of their product is of US origin. High tech manufacturers often cannot procure all of the needed components of their product from US sources; typically a few percent of the manufacturing cost represents components sourced from overseas, yet there is no definition of "substantially all" since the 75% guideline referred to above was withdrawn by FTC.

A product that includes foreign components may be called "Assembled in USA" without qualification when its principal assembly takes place in the U.S. and the assembly is substantial. For the "assembly" claim to be valid, the product’s last "substantial transformation" also should have occurred in the U.S.

That’s why a "screwdriver" assembly in the U.S. of foreign components into a final product at the end of the manufacturing process does not usually qualify for the

"Assembled in USA" claim. 

Example: A lawn mower, composed of all domestic parts except for the cable sheathing, flywheel, wheel rims and air filter (15 to 20 percent foreign content) is assembled in the U.S. An "Assembled in USA" claim is appropriate. 

Example: All the major components of a computer, including the motherboard and hard drive, are imported. The computer’s components then are put together in a simple "screwdriver" operation in the U.S., are not substantially transformed under the Customs Standard, and must be marked with a foreign country of origin. An "Assembled in U.S." claim without further qualification is deceptive.

A qualified Made in USA claim describes the extent, amount or type of a product’s domestic content or processing it indicates

that the product is not

entirely of domestic origin.

Example: "60% U.S. content." "Made in USA of U.S. and imported parts." "Couch assembled in USA from Italian Leather and Mexican Frame.

The American way of life is an expression that refers to the lifestyle of people living in the United States of America. It is an example of a behavioral morality, developed from the 17th century until today. It refers to a nationalist ethos that purports to adhere to principles of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." It has some connection to the concept of American exceptionalism and the American Dream. During the time of the Cold War, the expression was commonly used by the media to highlight the differences in living standards of the populations of the United States and the Soviet Union.

At that time, American popular culture broadly embraced the idea that anyone, regardless of the circumstances of his or her birth, could significantly increase his or her standard of living through determination, hard work, and natural ability.

In the employment sector, this concept was expressed in the belief that a competitive market would foster individual talent and a renewed interest in entrepreneurship. Politically, it took the form of a belief in the superiority of a free democracy, founded on a productive and economic expansion without limits.

It’s hard enough these days to find things that are actually made in the USA. With so many products being made overseas (Taiwan, Hong Kong, Brazil), trying to find an authentically “American” product can be like finding a needle in a haystack. However, due to our own laws, it’s even more difficult than the average person can imagine.

It may sound unbelievable, but the federal government had to pass a law in order to determine which products sold in the US can actually be labeled as being “Made in the USA”. Made in the USA sounds like a basic concept: if something was made in the United States, can’t a “Made in the USA” label just be stuck on it? Ah, not so fast.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, there are certain standards that an item must meet before it can proudly wear the label “Made in the USA”.The first, and often most confusing, standard is the part of the law that states “’all or virtually all’ of the product must be made in the United States.” ( But, what does this really mean? This is not easy to define, since the FTC, itself says, [it] “means that all significant parts and processing that go into the product must be of U.S. origin. That is, the product should contain no — or negligible — foreign content.” There’s no exact amount—no percentage stipulated in the law that deems an item “Made in the USA”. Why such a broad standard?

This is probably due to the fact that if the FTC only put the Made in the USA labels only on products made of materials and constructed only from the United States, there would be almost nothing on the market that is “Made in the USA.” Therefore, there has to be some flexibility in the rules.Manufactures have to consider things such as where the bulk of the item, or the primary parts were made before putting the Made in the USA label on their product.

This is not the only factor, though. Where the product was assembled is also a factor that plays into the country of origin listing. It can be confusing, and product makers really need to do careful investigating into the origin of parts that go on a completed item.The FTC, while broad in its standards, does have the intent on protecting the consumer from false claims of Made in the USA products.

Especially since September 11, 2001, when more people have become aware of their patriotism and devotion to all things American, the people of the US want to be assured that if they are going to go out of their way to buy products with the label of Made in the USA on it, that they are getting what they pay for.However, it should also be made more clear by the government what Made in the USA really means—as the majority of citizens probably aren’t even aware of how small a percentage of a product can be to be deemed “Made in the USA”.