How to Tell if a Product is Really Made in the U.S.

American manufacturing is experiencing a resurgence due to factors such as reduced energy prices, affordable U.S. talent and the push to reshore formerly offshored jobs. Also, the label “Made in USA” is fast becoming a status symbol that’s synonymous with high-quality products. In fact, it serves as a marketing tool for American companies that want to take advantage of this growing wave of patriotism.

If you find yourself looking at labels to buy more American manufactured products, you’re far from alone. According to Consumer Reports, nearly eight out of 10 Americans prefer to buy products made in the U.S. rather than imported ones, and 60 percent of American consumers are willing to pay as much as 10 percent more for domestic goods.

How Do Products Get a Label?

Considering this, it’s no surprise that manufacturers and distributors want to get in on this trend and portray their products as being as American as your grandmother’s apple pie. But what’s involved in this labeling process? And why don’t all labels contain the same wording when it comes to their country of origin?

made-in-usa-sticker

To answer these questions, it’s helpful to understand some of the fundamental rules governing goods sold in America. First of all, most regulations about the labeling of the country of origin of products have only been in existence since the 1990s. Since then, the increasing globalization of commerce and raw materials has muddied these waters incredibly.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which oversees the requirements for “Made in USA” labeling only mandates that a handful of products — including automobiles, wool, textiles and furs — must list their country of origin. For other products from consumer electronics to household appliances, labeling is supposed to be correct. However, it’s far from uniform.

American Made vs. Assembled in the U.S.

No matter how you word it, any label that gives an impression of an American-made product can encourage more sales and customer loyalty. Of course, the product itself must be of good quality, and the labeling needs to be straightforward and free of any fraudulent claims. However, not all labels are created equal.

According to the FTC, a “Made in USA” label can be put onto goods that contain at least 75 percent American made components. This is why you see other labels that read that a product is “Assembled in the U.S.,” which means the product’s components are most likely foreign-made, but Americans were employed to assemble the finished product.

In addition to “Made in USA” and “Assembled in USA” labels, there’s a growing trend to list what percentage of a product is from America. On these products, labels indicate that somewhere between 50 and 60 percent of a product’s components are American-made. Note that there are products sporting an American flag or some other patriotic symbol to portray themselves as an American brand — but offering little to no proof to back up the claim.

Made in America

In conclusion, there simply isn’t a substitute for the “Made in USA” label. However, if you see that a product is assembled and contains a percentage of American-made content, you can at least take comfort in knowing that some American jobs are being supported by your purchase.

Ready to discover why Dynaform has been proud to call itself an All-American company since 1895? Learn more about our full line of “Made in USA” products by filling out our contact form now. One of our customer service representatives will be in touch shortly.

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