FTC closes ‘Made in USA’ case with Wal-Mart

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 194 views 

The Federal Trade Commission has reached out to Wal-Mart Stores with news the federal agency is closing its investigation into the retailer’s “Made in the USA” claims raised by consumers over the past year.

Wal-Mart became the subject of an investigation when hundred’s of products sold on its website were found to have origins elsewhere. The FTC said it discussed concerns with the retailer regarding the clarity and conspicuousness of disclosures on “Made in USA” logos used in conjunction with Walmart’s investment in U.S. manufacturing jobs program.

The agency cited the retailer’s efforts to address the discrepancies as the reason for closing the case.

“Wal-Mart took several steps to prevent consumer deception,” the agency said. With regard to its website,” the agency noted in the letter sent to Wal-Mart. Those steps include:

1.) Removal of “Made in USA” logos from product listings on its website;
2.) Removed country-of-origin information from all product specifications, except where 3.) Required by law;
4.) Removed U.S.-origin claims that appeared in product descriptions or titles; and
5.) Implemented a procedure to flag and remove new U.S.-origin claims made in ad copy submitted by suppliers.

Additionally, the FTC said Wal-Mart rolled out redesigned "Made in USA" logos for private brand products promoted in conjunction with the U.S. manufacturing jobs program. These redesigned logos, which appear on product packaging, include larger disclosures regarding the percentage of U.S. content contained in the product, as well as a disclosure intended to convey that the U.S.- origin claim is self-certified by the supplying factory.