E.K. Ekcessories has agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it falsely claimed certain of its products were “Made in the U.S.A,” or “Truly Made in the USA” even though the products contained foreign content. The FTC alleged that E.K. Ekcessories, Inc. violated the Federal Trade Commission Act by making false and unsupported statements that its products were all or virtually all made in the United States.
Under the proposed order, the company is prohibited from claiming that any product is made in the United States unless that product is all or virtually all made in the United States. The company also is prohibited from making any misleading claims about a product’s country of origin and from providing deceptive promotional material to third-party retailers, or otherwise providing the “means or instrumentalities” for others to make deceptive U.S.-origin claims. The company also is required to contact all distributors who bought or received products between Jan. 1, 2010 and May 1, 2013, and provide them with a notice and a copy of the order.
According to the Commission’s 1997 U.S. Origin Claims Enforcement Policy Statement, for a product to be advertised or labeled as “Made in the U.S.A,” the product must be “all or virtually all” made in the United States – that is, all significant parts and processing must be of U.S. origin, and the product should contain no (or negligible) foreign content.
The FTC vote to accept the consent agreement package containing the proposed consent order for public comment was 4-0. The FTC will publish a description of the consent agreement package in the Federal Register shortly. The agreement will be subject to public comment for 30 days, beginning today and continuing through Nov. 21, 2013, after which the FTC will decide whether to make the proposed consent order final.