Q. I don’t know if woodworking machines made in the United States are any better than those made overseas, but given the choice, I’d like to support American factory workers. How can I be sure that a machine is actually made here at home?
A. Look for a label with these exact words: “Made in USA.” Manufacturers must follow very strict guidelines established by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in order to legally use this label.
According to the FTC, “Made in USA” means that “all or virtually all” of the product, including all significant parts, processing and labor, must be made in the United States.
Watch for variations in the wording. “Made in USA” cannot be applied to a machine that was merely assembled in the United States, according to the FTC. However, the label on that machine could be qualified to read “Assembled in USA.” A machine labeled “Made in America” or “Built in USA” must meet the “Made in USA” standard.
Pay attention to what part of a machine a “Made in USA” label is attached. The label may be printed
on an accessory that actually is made here (such as a tablesaw fence) when the machine itself is made overseas.
The FTC does not pre-approve “Made in USA” advertising or labeling claims. They rely on the integrity of each company, the watchful eye of consumers and a formal complaint process to make sure these claims are honest and truthful. If you have a complaint, call the FTC at (877) FTC-HELP or go to www.ftc.gov.