What it Really Means to be Made in the USAFebruary 21st, 2013 by DWM Magazine
You often hear companies touting their products as Made in America. Recently, DWM magazine looked at the Federal Trade Commission’s “Made in USA” Act which was designed to give the agency “the power to bring law enforcement actions against false or misleading claims that a product is of U.S. origin.” But other programs are in place as well to help consumers make informed decisions and this includes, Made in USA Certified®.
Made in USA Certified® is the only registered “Made in USA Certified” Word Mark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, according to the organization.
“When we say it’s ‘Made in USA,’ you can count on it,” says Julie Reiser, president and co-founder.
Any company bearing one of the USA-C™ seals has gone through a rigorous supply chain audit to ensure that the product and processes originate in the United States of America.
The designation is an independent certification system that applies proprietary audit criteria consistently across companies, and criteria are checked through the company’s supply chain. “The seal says the company has committed to American jobs and to the American economy,” says Rieser. “Displaying the seal gives consumers the option to visibly support products and services of the USA.”
The Earthwise Group LLC, a national network of locally owned, independent manufacturers of doors and windows, announced that the organization has recently been recognized as “Made in USA Certified.” The organization is the first and only door and window manufacturer to be Made in USA Certified, according to Earthwise.
Why did they do it? “Number one it’s the right thing to do,” says Mark Davis, executive director, the Earthwise Group. “We have to invest in the American economy, American worker and American jobs. If our economy is going to turn around we have to be more sensitive in investing, and that means ingesting in American products.”
He also says the consumer is more willing today to buy American.
“Due to the economic slowdown we feel that the American consumer is more motivated than ever to buy American products,” he adds. “They are beginning again to take pride in American made products and realize the benefits of that …. They have seen the result of ignoring investing in America.”
So why should other companies look at this program?
“The biggest thing I try to do is educate people that the claim of ‘Made in the USA’ is unregulated. There are so many companies just making that claim,” says Reiser. “The only way the consumer really knows is if the company does a supply chain audit .”
It’s completely different to say it than to prove it, she adds.
“It says a lot about a company’s willingness to remain transparent. For companies it’s a powerful branding tool to distinguish among those who may be making false claims,” says Reiser.
She also adds that purchasing dollars are going to support a U.S. manufacturer and create U.S. jobs “which is at the crux of our problems now.”
“One of the things this does for companies is it distinguishes them against those in their industry who may be making a false claim to gain market share,” she says. “If the company has legitimately gone through the process and awarded the seal that puts them head and shoulders above the competition.”