"Made in USA" AB 858 Passes Assembly and Moves on to Senate

The California State Assembly took a giant step towards giving the words "Made in America" meaning for American consumers when it unanimously passed Assembly Bill 858, also known as the "Made in USA" bill.

Assembly Bill 858, which will protect American jobs, provides consumers with the ability to know which products are made "all or virtually all" in the United States, which is the federal standard for "Made in USA" product labeling. The bill, authored by 77th District Assemblyman Brian Jones (R-Santee), passed 68-0 and now heads to the Senate.

According to Assemblyman Jones, "This bill is really about jobs, American jobs, California jobs. The inconsistency between the State and Federal statutes has resulted in difficulties for manufacturers because products legally labeled for sale in the other 49 states that find their way into the California marketplace may not legally be sold here. This places retailers and manufacturers at risk, increases costs to manufacturers to separately label products for sale in California, and most importantly, deprives California consumers of information about the origin of the products they are considering for purchase. For those who want to "buy American", there is currently no way of knowing what is and what is not being produced here. Bottom line is that without that information, consumers are likely to choose the cheaper alternative which, in most cases, is not "Made in USA" and not by the American workforce."

The situation facing consumers, manufacturers and retailers was brought to the attention of Assemblyman Jones by Jim Lantry of Creative Legislative Solutions. Lantry said, "California consumers have a right to know where the products they buy are made. There are California companies losing market share to inferior foreign manufactured products despite the fact that they meet the federal standard for 'Made in America' labeling." Lantry added "It's ridiculous that California companies can label and sell their products as 'Made in the USA' everywhere but where they actually produce them."

The California Manufacturers and Technology Association (CMTA) agrees with Lantry. In a letter of support the CMTA writes: "CMTA supports AB 858 to conform with federal law the California definition of what it means to be 'Made in America.' Having multiple standards makes product labeling complicated, could lead to consumer confusion... Manufacturers should be able to rely on the federal standard in all states, including California."

The California Retailers Association wrote in support of AB 858, "This bill provides that meeting the requirements of the Federal Trade commission for labeling a product 'Made in America' satisfies the California statute as well...AB 858 would relieve the financial, logistical and liability burden on retailers and manufacturers."

AB 858 is now in the Senate Rules Committee. If passed by the Senate and signed into law by Governor Brown, the bill would go into effect on January 1, 2012.


Categories: Legislative Branch/Congress

Tags: AB858, Creative Legislative Solutions, labeling, Lantry, made in usa

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