While there’s no official pre-approval process for products labeled “Made In U.S.A,” there are federal standards for what that phrase means, and a company can get into trouble for slapping “Made In U.S.A.” on imported products — like the glue company accused of misleading consumers about where its sticky stuff comes from.
The FTC on Tuesday filed charges against Ohio-based Chemence for deceiving consumers by making in “Made in U.S.A.” claims about its Kwik Frame, Kwik Fix, and Krylex brands.
According to the complaint [PDF], Chemence deceived consumers into buying its glue products by falsely claiming the items were “Made in the U.S.A.” or “proudly made in the U.S.A.”
In reality, the FTC found that at least 55% of the essential raw materials used in Chemence’s products were actually imported.
So while the glue ingredients were indeed combined in the U.S., too many of those components came from outside the country.
In addition to deceiving consumers about its products, the FTC alleges that Chemence also assists others in misleading potential customers by distributing its Made in U.S.A. marketing materials to private-label sellers and other retailers who promote these glues.
With its lawsuit, the FTC seeks monetary relief for duped consumers and a court order permanently prohibiting Chemence from deceptive origin claims in the future.
“For many shoppers, a claim that a product is made in the U.S.A. is a big selling point,” Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a statement. “Companies should not overstate the amount of U.S. content their products actually contain.”