'Made in the USA' Too Vague a Concept
Boston, MA (PRWEB) October 29, 2013
Creators of the patent-pending 'American Economic Impact Rating'-- a rating mark found on a product's packaging that tells consumers how much of the price they're paying is actually captured in America's economy-- say that "Made in the USA," as an advertising claim, is losing "both usability and credibility." They point to the example of phone and tablet accessory maker, E.K. Ekcessories, and their recent run in with the FTC (the federal body in charge of monitoring advertising claims in the US). E.K. Ekcessories had been selling products as "Made in the USA," even though many of the materials and inputs were from overseas.
More foreign inputs means that more of the money consumers were handing over to E.K. Ekcessories was flowing overseas. The company would pay its foreign suppliers; who would pay their foreign workers; who would spend their paychecks in foreign economies. This "input leakage," from using foreign inputs, is something echoed often by people like Jeff Faux, a researcher from the nonpartisan Economic Policy Institute, in Washington, D.C. He says, “Consumers need to understand that all jobs and wages are interconnected.” He says, “When you buy foreign goods—and sometimes there’s no choice—it means that fewer U.S. workers will have the money to buy the goods and services you sell.”
The big issue is that the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) doesn't verify "Made in the USA." Rather, they only look into a company and its claims if and when they receive a complaint. There's also the issue that, even if they do verify the vague claim of "Made in the USA," it still doesn't indicate how much of the money a consumer is handing over will actually be captured in the American economy. The economic impact from a consumer's purchase doesn't end at the conveyor belt. Taxes, charity, overhead and factory machinery are just a few examples of other factors that need examining to determine how much of the price consumers are paying is actually being captured in the American economy -- and all of these factors are not included in or indicated by the definition of "Made in the USA."
This is where the creators of the American Economic Impact say they come in. "As products' supply chains and designs increase in complexity, so does the complexity of claiming 'Made in America,'" says Economic Impact Rating creator, Anthony Comito. "Consumers are deliberately buying "Made in America" thinking that more of the money they're handing over will be captured in America's economy than would be if they bought the foreign version-- and they're being, sometimes deliberately, misled by the vague and deceptive use of "Made in America" advertising."
Every day, we see more claims: 'American Made' Jeans and Clothing, 'American Made' Cars, 'Made in the USA' kitchenware and every other 'Made in America' product you can think of. Couple that with the fact the big guys are starting to make claims as well -- companies like Apple, Google, and even Walmart -- and it's only a matter of time until you have to wonder, "well... just how much?"
Bloomberg.com; September, 3, 2013; http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-08-30/google-s-all-american-moto-x-phone-contains-few-u-s-made-parts.html
Fox Business; January, 2013; http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/2130137377001/how-accurate-are-made-in-america-labels/
Parade; August 2013, http://www.parade.com/150071/joekita/the-return-of-made-in-the-usa/
The Verge, July 2013; http://www.theverge.com/2013/7/24/4549624/made-in-america-2-behind-new-tech-patriotism