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Perceptions of Exporting Made in America Products
September 19, 2017 Tatiana Bertolo, Office of Small Business

The term “Made in America” carries a lot of positive weight around the world as U.S. products get shipped or transferred from country to country. American consumers generally purchase “Made in America” items because of their desire to support the American economy or because the product is usually of higher quality. Domestic demand of U.S. goods has gone up, however, stiff competition around the world has slowed export growth across staple industries such as manufactured goods.

The “Made in USA” label itself is regulated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and it states – “for most products, unless they are automobiles or items made from textile or wool, there is no law requiring manufacturers and marketers to make a ‘Made in USA’ claim.” How one defines “Made in America” (or “Made in USA”) can be complicated as global supply chains are integrated more and more. Nevertheless, here at EXIM Bank, we support small businesses that export products with at least 50% U.S. content, while the FTC defines it as “all or virtually all” the product has to be made in America. You can find out more details on how EXIM defines U.S. content here.

According to export.gov, “Made in America” products are considered or perceived to be:

  • Innovative, creative, cutting edge
  • Flexible and prepared to modify products and services
  • High quality, durable, safe
  • Positive brand values and awareness
  • Reputation for excellent after-sales service and warranty coverage
  • Creative marketing materials
  • Easy to reach and communicate with
  • Honest, ethical business dealings

These are all advantages that set U.S. companies apart from other countries that may have less expensive goods or services, but the quality is sub-par to American goods.  U.S. companies proudly attach some form of “Made in America” or “Made in the USA” identification/labeling on their product and website because it has proven to help them in the long run with foreign sales.

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