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What it Means to be Made in the U.S.A.


new balance logo

Today I got my first Christmas gift, a brand new pair of much-needed running shoes.

This is an exciting gift,

a pair of kicks that will keep my arched feet supported, comfortable, and balanced.

The pamphlet that came with my new New Balance

is a rectangular piece of red cardboard with a black stripe on the outside that reads:

Committed to American Workers
Solidaire des Travailleurs Américain

Inside, the pamphlet is much more informative and less vague:

These shoes have been produced by the New Balance team in one of our five U.S. factories. Unfortunately, we are not able to obtain all materials and components for these shoes in the U.S., either because they are not available, or because economic or quality considerations dictate foreign sourcing. The Federal Trade Commission has attempted to determine what it means to say a product is “made in” the U.S. We believe most consumers think “Made in USA” means that real manufacturing jobs were provided to U.S. workers in order to make the product.

Manufactured in the U.S.A.

These shoes were made by U.S. workers using U.S. and imported materials. Where the domestic value is at least 70%, we have labeled the shoe “Made in USA.” Where it falls below 70%, we have qualified the label referencing domestic and imported materials. This determination is based in part on the FTC’s survey of consumers. The FTC’s analysis of the “Made in USA” issue can be found at FTC.gov or for a copy, write to New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc., 20 Guest Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02135, Attn.: Communications.

The tag inside my new running shoes reads:


I never knew exactly what this meant until now. But these sure are nice shoes. Can’t wait to run in them!

December 10, 2009 10:05 pm

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