he New Balance running shoe company is one of the main manufacturers in the running footwear and sneaker market. Like all their competitors, most of their shoes are manufactured in several Asian countries for cost reasons. However, they are different in the industry in that they do maintain some production facilities in the United States, thus some New Balance footwear do have the ‘made in the USA’ tag. This really is however, contentious because a number of the pieces used in the footwear that happen to be made in the USA have parts, including the sole units, which are produced in Asia. This has brought up concerns as to if they are increasingly being honest to make the claim that their footwear is ‘made in the US’.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) rules state that if marketers and producers wish to promote their products as being ‘Made in US‘ they must meet up with the FTC standard of “all or virtually all” being produced in the USA. To meet this criteria, the FTC takes into account where the production occurs and just how much of the product’s total manufacturing expenditures might be assigned to the US parts and processing, and just how far away from any foreign content is from the finished product. New Balance state on their web site and on their footwear labelling that they do satisfy that requirement whenever they label the product as being produced in the USA. New Balance think of that concept to imply that more than 70% of the worth of making the footwear in located in the United States, so that is sufficient.
The statements by New Balance have not been enough to fight off legal concerns to their assertions and that they can be misleading. In the 90’s, the FTC did attempt to bring an enforcement action against New Balance over the assertions which New Balance were making which they eventually dropped its enforcement after a legal challenge from the Company. In 2019 a class action suit was negotiated and settled by New Balance for $750,000 regarding claims that New Balance made that the footwear is wrongly promoted as “Made in the USA”. In mid July 2021 the Federal Trade Commission released new rules for the using the ‘Made in the US’ claims that looks like it’s more stringent than before. This instigated the team, Truth in Advertising Inc to file a grievance against New Balance with the Federal Trade Commission claiming that for far too long the company has overtly breaking the ‘ Made in US’ origin legislation. This was followed by another class action lawsuit that was filed on December 20, 2021 against New Balance with regards to their “Made in USA” assertions. The litigation alleges that the New Balance shoes that have got this tag line typically are not completely made in the United States this really is deceiving customers into believing they are purchasing a USA product. The claimants are looking for $5 million in damages.
New Balance are attempting to push the boundaries because of their claims, but they claim that they don’t break the policies. Regarding advertising and marketing uses it does allow the company in order to convince consumers that New Balance do back manufacturing in the US.
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