What is “Made in the USA” and Why Does it Matter?

Once upon a time, consumers expected that everything they purchased was made close to them or certainly in the same country.

Today, however, this has changed.

International trade, inexpensive foreign labor, and varying levels of technical knowledge means that any product we buy might have been made almost anywhere in the world. Quite frequently when we buy a large item such as a car, it is an amalgam of American and foreign parts and processes.

 However it still remains important to buy products made in the USA.

What does this label mean?

When a product says it was made in the USA, the company has proven to the Federal Trade Commission that “all or most all” of the product was, in fact, made in the United States.

Because the Federal Trade Commission cannot go around verifying every claim oh, they depend on a standard called “reasonable basis.” That is, the manufacturer must be able to make a “reasonable” claim and provide an explanation that seems to fit with being made entirely in the United States of American.

There is not technically a percentage of the content in an item that must be manufactured in the United States. Instead, the companies that make that claim should be able to show reasonable evidence that the majority of that item was made in the United States.

Why does it matter?

Being made in the United States matters a great deal. It is a guarantee then that your money is returning to the American economy and supporting American workers, some of whom live in your community.

Many patriots take pride in making sure that their dollars continue to support the American economy and their community, and that the taxes each sale generates also supports their local police, fire, and other services.

It is meaningful to many people that not just American executives get paid, but that our dollars go to support strong union labor, high paying jobs, and quality workmanship. And to know that this same money will be, in turn, invested in our own American companies and jobs.

It is part of a virtuous circle of the American economy.