Georgia-based specialty chemical company Chemence, Inc. will stop making misleading unqualified claims that its strong, fast-acting glues are made in the United States, under a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission.
Chemence also has agreed to pay a $220,000 judgment to resolve the lawsuit the FTC brought against the company in February 2016.
In its complaint against Chemence, the FTC alleged that the company deceived consumers by making “Made in USA” or “Proudly Made in USA” claims for its cyanoacrylate glue products such as Kwik Fix, Hammer Tite, and Krylex. While Chemence’s claims allegedly implied that the products were all, or virtually all, made in the United States, approximately 55 percent of the costs of the chemical inputs to Chemence’s glues are attributable to imported chemicals that are essential to the glues’ function, according to the FTC. The complaint also alleged that Chemence assisted others in deceiving consumers by distributing its Made-in-USA marketing materials to private-label sellers and third-party websites and storefronts.
Chemence Product Packaging:
The stipulated final order prohibits the company from making unqualified “Made in USA” claims for any product unless it can show that the product’s final assembly or processing – and all significant processing – take place in the United States, and that all or virtually all ingredients or components of the product are made and sourced in the United States. The order permits Chemence to make qualified “Made in USA” claims as long as they include a clear and conspicuous disclosure about the extent to which the product contains foreign parts, ingredients, and/or processing. Chemence also is prohibited from providing others with the means to make deceptive Made-in-USA claims about its products.
The Commission vote approving the stipulated final order was 3-0. The order was filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio and entered by the court on Oct. 13, 2016.
The FTC’s Enforcement Policy Statement on U.S. Origin Claims provides further guidance on the Made in USA standard.
NOTE: Stipulated final orders have the force of law when approved and signed by the District Court judge.
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