BLACK & DECKER BREAKS FTCÆs æMADE IN USAÆ RULES
Black & Decker Corp., and its subsidiary Kwikset Corp., have agreed to settle charges with the Federal Trade Commission for representing their residential locks and locksets as made in the United States.
The FTC said that the packaging for Kwikset’s Tylo Unkeyed Knobs read “All American Made.” Inside a stars and strips shield on the packaging also stated “All American Made And Proud Of It.” However, in small print on a side panel read “Assembled In Mexico.”
The agency said “these representations were false or misleading because these products were actually made with significant foreign components.”
The proposed settlement with the FTC would prohibit the manufacturer from misrepresenting the extent to which its locksets are made in the United States. In addition, a number of record-keeping and reporting requirements designed to assist the FTC in monitoring compliance would have to be maintained by the company. There will be a 30-day period before the agency finalizes the settlement.
Some pro-“Made in USA” groups are also threatening to take Black & Decker and Kwikset to court for misleading U.S. consumers.
In 1997, the FTC tightened up its “Made in USA” advertising and labeling policy so that these claims could only cover products which are “all, or virtually all” made in the United States. The agency issued a guide, “Complying with the Made in USA Standard,” to assist shippers. There’s also information available on the FTC’s Internet Web-site: http://www.ftc.gov/os/statutes/usajump.htm.