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DID SHOE COMPANIES NOT DO ENOUGH FOR "MADE IN U.S.A." CHANGE?
Published December 8, 1997
The FTC's "stunning retreat" of proposed "relaxed standards" concerning the "Made in U.S.A." label was examined by Eric Schmitt of the N.Y. TIMES. The commission said last week it was dropping its proposal, recommended by New Balance, among others, after "an avalanche of criticism from organized labor, state officials, consumer groups, more than 250 members of Congress and a large chunk of the nation's small businesses." Schmitt wrote that the "ferocity of the response -- part grass roots, part high technology -- shocked the commission," as the issue turned into an "often-times emotional referendum on product quality, truth in labeling, the power of unions and old-fashioned patriotism." Schmitt added that "conspicuous by its absence" was a well-organized campaign by any companies that supported the proposed changes, including shoe manufacturers and bicycle companies. DC lobbyist Jason Clawson: "Where industry failed is that companies tried to do everything through trade associations and didn't step forward themselves" (N.Y. TIMES, 12/6).