United States Senate
Mr. William Prendergast, Director
Enclosed is a letter from one of my constituents who has concerns which come under the jurisdiction of your agency.
I would appreciate your reviewing this situation and providing me with an appropriate response. Please direct your reply to:
Your cooperation and assistance are appreciated.
With kind regards,
Constituent's Name:MARTIN LAPIDESE
May 12, 1997
The Honorable Bob Graham
Dear Senator Graham:
I try to purchase products made in the U.S.A. where possible. I realize that in today's economic set-up the same item can be made elsewhere, or that we cannot, for one or another reason, do not produce the product. While products can be made more cheaply elsewhere, I feel that the costs may eventually even out in our having to support displaced workers & their families and in diminished funds coming into the Social Security System.
I have assumed that the label "Made in the U.S." meant that all or most of the product was made in this country. Now, that great guardian of consumer rights, the Federal Trade Commission, is proposing language that would make "Made in the USA" virtually a lie. Under their new proposal, business may be able to use the label if 75% of the manufacturing cost is spent in this country OR, if the product is "substantially transformed" here before going on the market.
This is the usual bureaucratic obfuscation which is used to confuse the consumer, telling him or her nothing at all, and leaving a loophole wide enough to allow more foreign made goods to enter the country under false labelling.
The only fair way to give the American Consumer the reliable information to which he is entitled is to require labels that state "Made in US" to give the actual percentage of the product so made. This should be the minimum. I would like to see a label showing the percentage made in the U.S. and the percentage assembled in the U.S. I can hear businesses screaming about the extra work involved, but they already have the information at their fingertips, and they have to print labels one way or another,
I would like you to make my opposition to this proposed FTC rule known to the Commission, and while I am only one letter writer, I know there are many people behind me who feel as I do.
Thank you for your consideration of this matter.