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FTC proposes new MUSA rules, ending apparel care guidance

Jul '20
Pic: Shutterstock
Pic: Shutterstock
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) published a proposed rule for ‘Made in the USA’ (MUSA) claims for labels in the United States on July 16. It has also proposed to repeal its trade regulation on apparel care labelling. FTC said the apparel care labeling may be unnecessary as manufacturers would likely continue to provide care information to consumers. The proposed repeal was published on July 23.

The care labelling rule requires apparel manufacturers and importers to attach labels to their products that describe appropriate care for ordinary use of their product, including by use of approved care symbols instead of words. Comments on the repeal proposal are due on September 21.

The proposed rules on MUSDA claims would codify the FTC’s current standard that unqualified MUSA claims for a product should, at the time of the representation, have a reasonable basis for asserting that ‘all or virtually all’ of the product are made in the United States.
These claims are currently enforced through the FTC’s general authority to prevent unfair and deceptive practices.

The proposed rule would also provide authority to FTC to assess monetary penalties on unsubstantiated claims and would also extend the FTC’s enforcement authority to labels, mail order catalogues and online advertising. Comments on the proposed rule are due by September 14.

According to the FTC, the proposed rule would prohibit marketers from making unqualified MUSA claims on labels unless final assembly or processing of the product occurs in the United States; or all significant processing that goes into the product occurs in the United States; or all or virtually all ingredients or components of the product are made and sourced in the United States.

The proposed rule defines ‘Made in the United States’ to mean: “any unqualified representation, express or implied, that a product or service, or a specified component thereof, is of US origin, including, but not limited to, a representation that such product or service is ‘made,’ ‘manufactured,’ ‘built,’ ‘produced,’ ‘created,’ or ‘crafted’ in the United States or in America, or any other unqualified US-origin claim.”

According to the FTC, the proposed rule would not preempt federal or state statutes or regulations relating to country-of-origin labels, except and to the extent such laws or regulations are inconsistent with the rule. States whose protections are greater than the provisions of the proposed rule would not be considered inconsistent with the rule.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)

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June 2021

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