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Architectural Detail Experts | A Blog by Worthington Millwork

What is the “Made in USA” Standard and Why is it Important?

Posted by Holli McRae on 12/21/15 9:00 AM

US_Flag-Map_Inner_Shadow-2.jpgIn a world full of “natural foods” and “safe drugs” it’s disconcerting to find that some of these terms which give us buying comfort actually have zero government regulation, and mean absolutely nothing at all. What is assuring is that the label “Made in USA” does not fall into this category. In fact, it is a highly regulated, very specific, black and white term – it either is or it isn’t, and the FTC sees to it that consumers have that assurance.

Buying from a company which uses the phrase “Made in America” means that company must use “all or virtually all” of their materials, labor, and processing within the United States. It means that their product is fully made or processed in the U.S.A. Deviating from these specific parameters can result in significant penalties for a company making these claims.

 

What does The Law say?

Disclosure: U.S. content must be disclosed on automobiles and textile, wool, and fur products. There’s no law that requires most other products sold in the U.S. to be marked or labeled Made in USA or have any other disclosure about their amount of U.S. content. However, manufacturers and marketers who choose to make claims about the amount of U.S. content in their products must comply with the FTC’s Made in USA policy.

Products: The policy applies to all products advertised or sold in the U.S., except for those specifically subject to country-of-origin labeling by other laws. Other countries may have their own country-of-origin marking requirements. As a result, exporters should determine whether the country to which they are exporting imposes such requirements.

Express or Implied: Examples of express claims: “Made in USA.” “Our products are American-made.” “USA.”

In identifying implied claims, the Commission focuses on the overall impression of the advertising, label, or promotional material. Depending on the context, U.S. symbols or geographic references (for example, U.S. flags, outlines of U.S. maps, or references to U.S. locations of headquarters or factories) may convey a claim of U.S. origin either by themselves, or in conjunction with other phrases or images.

Example: A company promotes its product in an ad that features a manager describing the “true American quality” of the work produced at the company’s American factory. Although there is no express representation that the company’s product is made in the U.S., the overall – or net – impression the ad is likely to convey to consumers is that the product is of U.S. origin.

 

Why Worthington believes “Made In America” is important.

Quality: We feel that it is our duty, our responsibility, and our obligation to make the highest quality and best possible architectural products in the industry. We have done this for over 30 years. When a contractor or homeowner is looking only for the “best price,” it is important to consider the bottom line cost. A few extra dollars spent up front on a high-quality American made product could save thousands in the long run on maintenance and up-keep in the future.

Safety: Products made in foreign countries may not have to comply with the same guidelines as those manufactured in the U.S.A. By doing so, harmful additives such as lead, Freon and other chemicals can be used in the product. Inferior primers, paints, hardware and even inferior raw materials can also be used. Some examples of this are seen in Chinese drywall cases and more recently in the vinyl flooring industry. Some of these products manufactured from China contain chemicals that are known to cause cancer.

Longevity: We make sure high quality materials are used in the manufacturing of our products. Our manufacturing standards required by the Federal government help keep a high standard on all of our products. Our warranties are evidence of our standards as we offer the best warranties in the industry. Imports often carry warranties which are less than industry standards required on most projects. In the end, the builder/contractor is delivering a less than acceptable finished product to the owner.

Value: We realize that it is the owner who pays for the end product and it is our responsibility to make sure that we surpass requirements and expectations. High quality products with superior warranties lend great value in partnering with Worthington on your next project

 

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