26 Apr 2021
What Does It Mean For A Product To Be “Made In America”?
Every day you will see products label themselves as “Made In America,” whether you are looking through a convenience store or just watching television. However, some may not know that “Made In America” and “Made In The USA” are regulated marks in the United States, meaning products and services cannot be advertised as such unless it is true.
In the United States, the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) is charged with “preventing deception and unfairness in the marketplace.” As such, they are the governing body charged with taking action again false or misleading “Made In America” claims.
What Does It Mean For A Product To Be “Made In America”?
Before a U.S. Origin Claim can be enforced, there must be a clear definition of what it means to be “Made in America.” The FTC states that for an item product to be considered MiA, it must be “all or virtually all” made in the US. However, it is important to understand what this means.
If a product is made entirely out of US parts except for one foreign gear, would it count as being “all or virtually all” made in America? According to the FTC, “all significant parts and processing must be of US origin.” No (or negligible) amount of foreign content is allowed. Essentially, all parts, materials, and processing should occur in or be of the United States. Additionally, the product must be finally assembled in the US. The FTC will consider how much of the total manufacturing cost is attributed to US manufacturing vs. foreign manufacturing to make the final determination.
If a company wants to state their products are Made in America, but they use some foreign parts for their products, they can make what is known as a qualified claim. Qualified claims let customers know that this product is made in the US except… for certain aspects. For example, if a product is assembled in the US but uses foreign parts, they can say, “Car assembled in the USA from imported parts.” When reviewing Qualified Claims, the FTC’s main goal is to ensure the claim does not mislead the customer on its origins.
Why Do Companies Advertise That They’re Made In America?
In the United States, certain products must disclose which country they were made, like automobiles, textiles, wool, and fur products. Most other products are not required by law to display their amount of United States content. Instead, many companies want to show their American customer base that their products were manufactured and sourced nationally. Many American businesses and consumers view American-made products as a benefit for a few reasons.
First, purchasing American-made products help the national economy by paying for the labor of a fellow American. With products that are both sourced and assembled in the US, the product manufacturer and the supplier of the raw goods become stronger and will most likely be recirculating their revenue within the United States.
Second, with a Made in America product, you can rest assured that your product has been manufactured under OSHA-regulated labor conditions. Buying American helps to reinforce the importance of protective labor laws, as foreign suppliers may circumvent or ignore employee safety and well-being to supply a product at a lower cost.
Third, products made in the US are likely to reduce overall transportation and energy costs. When products are manufactured overseas, they must then be transported to the United States by shipping across the Pacific or Atlantic Oceans. This increases the overall energy required to bring the product to purchase with increased petroleum usage and emissions.
American consumers see a variety of additional benefits of buying products Made in the US. Other noted advantages are improved quality of goods sold, evening the trade deficit (combating reliance on foreign goods), and helping reduce outsourcing.
Why Does Panel Built Manufacture American Made Products?
Panel Built, Inc. has been based out of Blairsville, Georgia, for the past 25 years, proudly manufacturing our buildings in the north Georgia mountains. For our Founder & President, Mike Kiernan, it was important to start Panel Built in his hometown, where there was a ton of great labor and a huge opportunity for growth. In that time, Panel Built has expanded to employ over 100 full-time employees spread across six individual manufacturing facilities in Blairsville, Blue Ridge (GA), and Athens (TN). Building American Made structures has allowed Panel Built to expand and thrive, becoming one of the largest companies in our area and one of the fastest-growing companies in the modular construction industry.
For context, President Herbert Hoover passed the “Buy American Act” toward the end of the Great Depression, on his last day in office (March 3, 1933). This act requires the United States government to prefer U.S. Made products when making a purchase. With help from this bill and similar bills that emphasize the importance of American Made commodities, Panel Built generally will be working on at least one government or military project at any given point in time. Not only does it help small businesses develop, but this focus ensures that government contracts are completed with all the benefits that products Made in the US have to offer. The symbiotic relationship strengthens American businesses while ensuring government projects are sourced via US labor and reliable American materials.
Overall, when a product is “Made In America,” it will almost entirely be sourced and assembled within the United States, using American materials and labor. If the product is not fully made in America or uses foreign components, a Qualified “Made in America” Claim can be used to provide an accurate account of the product’s origin (EX: Product Assembled in the USA with 50% foreign components). The FTC will investigate false or misleading claims.
Panel Built manufactures American Made structures in north Georgia in order to provide quality products to the United States military, government, and businesses. With a reliable and hard-working labor force, Panel Built has been able to grow substantially over the past 25 years, providing lasting careers for our employees and reliable products for our customers.
By buying materials from other US businesses, Panel Built helps provide work for other American small businesses. If you are interested in Panel Built American Made products, give us a call at 800-636-3873, send us an email to info@Panelbuilt.com, or let us know in our LiveChat in the bottom-right of the page. Panel Built fabricates a wide range of modular buildings and structures, including modular offices, mezzanines, security booths, equipment enclosures, cleanrooms, ballistic buildings, shelters, canopies, and more!