10 Most Deceptive PR Campaigns in History

Products With 'Made in the USA' Labels Are Made Overseas
A "proudly made in the USA" logo is seen on the packaging of a brush produced at Detroit Quality Brushes in Livonia, Michigan. Not all companies that display this logo really make their products in America. © REBECCA COOK/Reuters/Corbis

Nearly 80 percent of Americans prefer to purchase products made in the USA. Not only that, more than 60 percent will pony up 10 percent more for the privilege of doing so [source: Consumer Reports]. Why? Americans think their goods are of a higher quality, for one. They want to support their own workers. And they're worried about child labor and other unsavory practices that may go on overseas. It's not surprising, then, that many companies, both foreign and domestic, will try to deceive Americans into thinking their products were made locally, when in reality they are not.

According to Federal Trade Commission (FTC) rules, all, or almost all, of a product with a "Made in the USA" label should be crafted with American materials. Additionally, its final assembly or processing must be done either in one of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, or in a U.S. territory or possession. But some companies will slap a huge American flag on their product's package, then hide a tiny disclaimer noting all parts were imported. Or, more blatantly, they'll openly claim a product was made in the U.S. when it wasn't. One example of many: the Stanley Works, an American toolmaker, was fined $205,000 by the FTC in 2006 after marketing its Zero Degree ratchets as "Made in the USA," when in reality the ratchets were crafted with a substantial amount of foreign material [sources: Consumer Reports, Federal Trade Commission].

More to Explore