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Made in the USA: Are You Sure?

July 25, 2014

Made in the USAA Yuma Arizona journalist uncovers a “Made in the USA” seal of approval to be misguided. What’s really ‘Made in the USA’? Well one thing is for sure, don’t always trust the sticker.

Lesley Fair of in their recent article Keep your Made in USA claims red, white, and trueuncovers claims that a Made in the USA-origin seal for businesses may not be credible. At Manchester Wood, we’ve always been weary of companies that supposedly “boost credibility” by giving them money in return for a logo and some marketing materials to help consumers recognize that our product is Made in the USA.

Fair found that an “Ohio-based Made in the USA Brand [who] markets a U.S.-origin seal for businesses to use to boost the credibility of their ‘Made in USA’ claims. According to one promotional brochure, ‘When printed on labels by accredited manufacturers, consumers are able to identify at a glance which products are made in the USA.’  …The company’s website included one licensee’s explanation that the certification mark was important ‘because it stands for buying American products produced by American workers.'” BUT… “the part where [the] Made in the USA Brand conducted a careful evaluation to make sure products bearing its mark really are of U.S origin [had been skipped]. A “complaint alleges that all a company had to do display the seal was self-certify that it was in compliance with the guidance set forth in the FTC’s Enforcement Policy Statement for U.S. Origin Claims. What about objective evaluations or audits to confirm ongoing compliance? There weren’t any. And you won’t be hearing about companies that were denied the certification mark because according to the FTC, Made in the USA Brand handed over its seal to any business whose check cleared.

Over the past year, we’ve been putting on our own materials that we’re “100% Made in USA.” It’s actually a tricky thing to state for most “American made” companies. With a global economy it’s hard to find anything truly made from the ground up in America. It may be assembled here, or packaged here, but materials and sub-assemblies could be done overseas… so could that really make it Made in the USA still? It’s been a hot debate, but one thing is for sure, Manchester Wood is, and always has been 100% made in America.

What’s your thoughts? How do you know something is made in America?