Home Depot is taking legal heat for possibly violating the Buy American Act of 1933, which requires that materials used to build public construction products come from the U.S. The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating the company due to accusations that it purchases products from China and other foreign countries, and offers those products to government agencies online.
The AP reports that half the products on the site are allegedly from foreign countries. The DOJ has not yet decided whether it will join an existing whistle-blower suit filed by several attorneys. In the past few years, Staples, Office Depot and OfficeMax have paid a total of $22 million to settle claims that it violated the act. Damages from such suits are split between those filing the suit and the government.
A Home Depot spokesman said the company’s detractors don’t see the facts correctly:
“We would never knowingly sell prohibited goods under any circumstances, and we have been cooperating with the government to provide requested information. We believe the plaintiffs have an inaccurate view of the facts, so we look forward to presenting our side of this case as the process moves forward.’
When you’re shopping, how important is it to you where the products were made?
Home Depot accused of violating Buy American Act [AP via MSN Money]