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The Del Mar Law Group is suing blue-jeans companies over "Made in America" labels. In one suit that the firm hopes will be certified as a class action, the plaintiff states that "fabric, thread, buttons, subcomponents of the zipper assembly and/or rivets are manufactured outside of the United States."

In one of the cases, filed in San Diego federal court, the plaintiff quotes the California Supreme Court: "Simply stated: labels matter…. In particular, to some consumers, the 'Made in U.S.A.' label matters."

The publication California Apparel News quotes the president of the California Fashion Association saying "There is a little attorney firm in San Diego that is doing these class action lawsuits…. It is a pain in the ass."

The publication says "California law basically says everything must come from the United States to qualify for the 'Made in USA' label." However, the United States Customs Service says that if the good is "substantially transformed" in the United States, the label might pass muster.

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Comments

Visduh July 25, 2014 @ 7:18 a.m.

These manufacturers would not be claiming "Made in USA" if they thought nobody cared. That is prominent on their labeling because they believe, and with good reason, it gives them an advantage. So, if it is a lie, they are lying to the consumer/buyer. And that should be stopped.

For a long time, Levi Strauss, was making its jeans in the USA. But very quietly (shhhh!) it stopped doing that. The reasoning was, of course, that they could not afford to keep the production at home and stay competitive with the rivals who had theirs made offshore. Ahh, but Levis always sold at a premium price and were the big kid on the block. Oh, did their prices come down after they started importing the jeans? LOL The move was more about the profit margin, and not market share.

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Don Bauder July 25, 2014 @ 7:22 a.m.

Visduh: Excellent points. Yes, that "Made in America" tag is a definite marketing plus. Many people will buy a product as a result of that tag. The court battle will be in the definition of "Made in America." Can some parts of the jeans be made offshore, but the product basically assembled in the U.S., and still be called "Made in America"? Best, Don Bauder

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shirleyberan July 25, 2014 @ 6:47 p.m.

No they can't have the tag Made in America because that would be a lie unless all of it is.

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Don Bauder July 25, 2014 @ 9:08 p.m.

shirleyberan: California law and federal law are a bit different on that point. That's why this could be an interesting court case, unless it is settled beforehand. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder July 26, 2014 @ 5:32 p.m.

danfogel: The suit, filed in federal court, may hinge on definitions of the words "virtually all" and "negligible." Best, Don Bauder

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