Dem demands investigation of fake 'Made in USA' labels

By:  Lydia Wheeler
The Hill

A Senate Democrat is calling on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate claims that retailers are fraudulently mislabeling foreign products in a bid to take advantage of American consumers' willingness to pay more for American-made goods.

In a letter to FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said businesses are only allowed to include a “Made in USA” label if “all or virtually all” of a product’s parts, processing and labor are of U.S. origin.

“This standard applies to both manufacturers and retailers, who may include additional product origin labels after manufacturing is complete,” he said in the letter. “I have particular concern over fraudulent labels that are placed on products by retailers on outer packaging or in advertising for products.”

The letter comes after an investigation by the nonprofit Truth in Lending found 200 examples of mislabeled foreign-made products at Walmart, which ranged from disposable spoons to children’s toys and cosmetic sponges, as reported by NBC Connecticut.

Murphy called on the FTC to investigate and bring legal action against fraudulent or misleading claims that a product originated in the U.S.

“The commission’s effective enforcement of these regulations is crucial to ensuring honest product origin labeling and the protection of genuine U.S. manufacturers in Connecticut and throughout the country,” he said in the letter.