Company to Pay $1 Million Fine for False ‘Made in USA’ Labels

The Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM), an organization the USW founded in partnership with employers that produce American-made goods, was instrumental this week in the first-ever financial penalty issued against a company for wrongly labeling their products as “Made in the USA.” 

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said that it reached a settlement with Williams-Sonoma Inc. to pay a $1 million fine to settle claims that its Goldtouch Bakeware, Rejuvenation products and some furniture sold by its Pottery Barn subsidiary were made entirely in the United States. In fact, the products were imported.

The AAM, founded in 2007, has consistently lobbied the FTC to investigate and punish companies that incorrectly label their products.

“Cheaters like Williams Sonoma don’t want to do all the hard work that’s behind a ‘Made in USA’ label,” said AAM President Scott Paul. “But they know that ‘Made in USA’ is a good selling point. It can be good for business. It’s a great ad campaign.”

Paul said that the FTC, which investigates such claims, has found dozens of cases over the years of false or misleading labels claiming that products were American-made, but this was the first time the agency had issued a financial penalty.

The FTC warned Williams-Sonoma about its labels in 2018, but that the company continued the practice. 

“This is a historic step forward,” Paul said. 

USW International President Tom Conway said AAM is an important partner in the USW’s constant efforts to protect good manufacturing jobs.

“We will continue to support AAM as they keep up this good work,” Conway said. “The FTC should always be tough on companies that try to break the rules.”


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