New Balance continues sneaking around “Made in USA” rules

Shoe maker New Balance continues to flaunt rules on the “Made in USA” tagline.

In 1997, the Federal Trade Commission ruled that all or virtually all of a product’s materials had to be made in the U.S. for a finished good to be considered “Made in USA”. At the time, the rules caused a row between the government and the shoe maker.

Today, New Balance maintains its belief that its sneakers are made in America despite only 70 percent of the materials used to craft them being from the U.S.

The claim is a unique trait for New Balance in the competitive sneaker market. American companies like Nike base much of its operations overseas.

New Balance says its sneakers are assembled in the U.S. by American workers, but materials for them are clearly gained from foreign sources.

The FTC rule on the Made in America claim are confusing, according to an AP report, but the former FTC chair who wrote the rule believes New Balance is flaunting vagueries in the language.

A current FTC attorney believes the rule means that all or nearly every material in a product must have derived from a domestic source for a finished product to be considered “Made in USA”.