The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is responsible for preventing deceptive and unfair advertising in the U.S. marketplace, and is granted authority to bring enforcement actions against false or misleading claims of a product’s U.S. origin. In other words, there is no legal requirement that a product be labeled as “Made in the U.S.A.” Rather, companies generally are prohibited from making such claims unless they meet the standards set forth by the FTC. These rules are similar to those covering the labeling of product imported in to the U.S., but they are not identical. And, perhaps most importantly, just because a product satisfies a “Buy America” requirement, it does not mean that manufacturers can label a product as “Made in the U.S.A.” In Part 5 of this 9-part series, the Sheppard Mullin Supply Chain Management Team discusses the FTC’s “Made in the U.S.A.” labeling requirements and other country of origin determinations made by U.S. Customs.
In this session, we will cover:
- FTC regulatory requirements relating to product labeling;
- Differences between FTC advertising requirements and other “Buy America” certification requirements;
- Best practices when labeling products imported to or exported from the U.S.
Supply Chain Management: Understanding “Buy America” and Country of Origin Requirements Series
Doing business with the government – not just the U.S. Government, but also state and local governments using federal funds – requires contractors to operate in a highly regulated arena. Many government contracts include some kind of preference for U.S.-origin products and construction materials, commonly referred to as “Buy America” or “country of origin” requirements. But there is no single “Buy America” requirement when it comes to federal spending, with specific country of origin requirements changing based on a variety of factors – including contract size, type of materials purchased, the purchasing agency, and even the nature of the procurement itself, each potentially requiring the application of a different country of origin requirement. To make things even more complicated, in certain instances “Buy America” requirements yield to international agreements, placing the U.S. free trade partners on equal footing with U.S.-based companies.
How can you know what is and what is not acceptable under your contract? How can you ensure that you are not falsely certifying compliance with a country of origin requirement that you do not understand? Join Sheppard Mullin’s Supply Chain Management Team as we explore these questions in this comprehensive 9-part, bi-weekly series, navigating the complicated “Buy America” maze and exploring in depth the most common country of origin requirements under a government contract.
Throughout this series, attendees will learn about:
- The various “Buy America” and “Buy American” regimes;
- Country of origin tests adopted by U.S. Federal agencies, including the requirement to “manufacture” or “substantially transform” a manufactured product in a specific country;
- Requirements unique to federally-funded Infrastructure and grant programs, including transportation and broadband projects;
- Special rules uniquely applicable to Defense Programs, like the Berry Amendment and Specialty Metals restrictions;
- Exceptions and waivers that may be available for non-conforming products;
- The differences between a “Buy American” certification and a “Made in the U.S.A.” label on product packaging;
- How sanctions and other prohibited sources rules can affect your country of origin compliance; and
- Compliance best practices for government contractors, including tips to lower the risks of False Claims Act violations and other false certifications, exploring real-world examples.