Last week, the Federal Trade Commission issued a $1.2 Million judgment against glue maker, Chemence. Chemence is the manufacturer of various glues. The judgment originates from the production and manufacturing of various glue products with pre-packaged and pre-labeled Made in the USA claims. Additionally, the FTC alleged that Chemence represented to third parties that their private label products were all or virtually all made in the USA. An example of Chemence’s packaging, including both unqualified Made in the USA claims and use of the American Flag are below:

According to the complaint, Chemence violated a 2016 order with the FTC over identical, unqualified Made in the USA claims. Moreover, the FTC alleged that Chemence’s CEO declared in a 2017 compliance report under penalty of perjury, that Chemence changed the packaging to include the following revised claim: “Made in USA with US and globally sourced materials.”

In addition to the monetary judgment, Chemence is barred from making unqualified Made in the USA claims unless it can show that both the final assembly and all or virtually all of the ingredients of its glues are Made in the USA. Chemence must also notify third party sellers of its white-label products of the order, and provide compliance reports to the FTC.

Takeaway: In the largest-ever judgement against a company over Made in the USA claims, the FTC reaffirmed its commitment to ensuring consumers understand the source of origin of products they buy. This case serves as a reminder that any unqualified use of the American Flag or Made in the USA will require both the assembly of the products and the component ingredients to be all or substantially all made in the USA.