“Made in America” Trust the Label?

Paul Fogleman,

Julie Reiser

When consumers see a “Made in America” label, what does it mean?

Was it assembled in the U.S., with component parts made abroad? Does it have 51 percent of compenents made in the U.S? What should the label require to assure American manufacturing maintains a competitive edge in the global marketplace?

Participants at the recent SYFA conference in Charlotte pondered these questions during a presentation by Julie Reiser, president and co-founder of “Made in America Certified.” Reiser heads an organization that holds a patent to the name.

To qualify for the “Made in America Certified” requires a full scale proprietary audit of the product and its supply chain. Each product must go through the audit process and each gets a certificate of compliance. The company also gets rights to use the logo and authorized message in its marketing, along with the seal and logo.

The Federal Trade Commission is charged with preventing deception and unfairness, Reiser asserted. The FTC requires that “all or virtually all” of the product be made in the U.S … California requires 100 percent of the content be American-made.

Reiser said over 3,500 products have been approved for “Made in America Certified.” Consumers and retailers, she allowed, want a standard that is meaningful – a standard they can trust.

Manufacturers in America employ 12 million people, about 9 per cent of the workforce, and another 17 million are supported by manufacturers.

As the demand for more American-made products grows, the question arises: Has the offshoring boom run its course? Reiser thinks so.

“Quality is our competitive edge,” she insists.” “We don’t succeed by making crap.”

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