Local News

"Made in the USA" Could Have New Meaning

Posted July 19, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— Whether it's a hat, a shirt or even a pair of shoes, chances are you're wearing something that was made in the USA. While you may not have noticed the red, white and blue label, it's something many businesses take pride in-- a kind of pride that a new proposal could change.

You don't see the labels, but they're there. From wagons to water bottles, from shelves to shorts, the "Made in the USA" logo seems to be a big part of marketing these days. But the Federal Trade Commission is looking at changing the standards behind the those USA labels.

Take a bike horn for example. Right now the packaging says it's made in Mexico. And a bag says it's made in China. Under the proposed FTC changes, if the product is assembled in the US, it could still get the "Made in USA" label, even if the components that make up that product are from a foreign country.

A product may be made with foreign parts but still allowed to say "Made in America". Some local manufacturers say those proposed changes are way off the mark.

Barry Carter has been making curtains in Raleigh for 61 years. Everything is his store is American made. Carter says the "Made in the USA" label has a deeper meaning. He could purchase fabric cheaper from foreign sources, but he doesn't.

Carter believes saving 15 cents a yard doesn't mean that much. Getting someone to stand behind you when you need it is something that counts. He says it's all about good American caring-- caring Carter hopes the FTC takes before dropping the curtain on the USA label decision.