Jul 18 2018
When Americans see a “Made in USA” label on a product, it is often a source of pride.
It represents the American virtues of entrepreneurialism and industriousness.
It is a symbol of support for American manufacturing jobs and high-quality products.
And it often spurs American consumers to buy that product.
The Federal Trade Commission currently enforces a difficult standard for products to claim the “Made in USA” label. It requires that “all or virtually all” of a product must be made in the U.S., and has issued lengthy guidance documents establishing the rules.
However, one state holds a different standard – one that is nearly impossible for businesses to meet.
Under California’s law, if more than 5% of the components of a product are manufactured outside of the United States – even if that means just a few bolts or screws – that product cannot be labeled “Made in USA.”
While companies could legally boast this claim in 49 of the 50 states under the federal standard set by the Federal Trade Commission, they are often unable to do so because of the flow of interstate commerce. Most manufacturers sell wholesale to national and international distributors, who then disperse products throughout the country.
As a result, companies must label products according to the most rigid definition in order to protect themselves from costly litigation.
In short, one state is effectively governing how interstate commerce is conducted with regard to “Made in USA” labeling throughout the country.
The Reinforcing American-Made Products Act would solve this problem: it would ensure that the current federal definition is the supreme labeling law in interstate commerce without weakening the strong “Made in USA” national standard.
In addition to upholding the Constitution – which empowers Congress to regulate interstate commerce – this legislation would provide clarity and consistency, helping American companies to avoid unnecessary hardships and frivolous lawsuits.
And in a global marketplace, it is increasingly difficult for small American companies to stay afloat, let alone compete.
This reform would ultimately encourage¬ manufacturing in America and the use of American goods and resources. And it would help so many of the small businesses and ordinary American workers that are currently being left behind. And helping them ought to be our goal.
I yield the floor.