Like many consumers these days, I now depend on home delivery for many of my 'non-essential' items.

I have been shopping online for a steel product which is often counterfeited (mostly from China), and have managed to weed out the more obvious fakes. Unfortunately, the very manufacturer that produces the item has contributed to the confusion by either importing the prime material and assembling it in the USA, or has exported the American-made parts to be assembled in China.

In this case, the product is recognized world-wide as superior when made of US steel and assembled in the USA, and may in fact be considered undependable in a critical situation (read "your life depends on it")

I think possibly this issue is being avoided by advertising the product as "USA Made".

In the past, "Made in U.S.A." meant something.

Is "USA Made" just a weasel-word, or is it actually another way to say "Made in the USA"?

  • Assembled in the USA is the common sense definition of "USA made", isn't it? As long as they're actually doing the assembly there and not just adding one extra screw.
    – user253751
    May 11, 2020 at 15:06
  • @user253751Sorry, the problem is in the actual quality of the steel used in the assembly. A loose screw is not a big deal, but a broken blade is. May 12, 2020 at 22:34

2 Answers 2


“USA Made” is an enforceable country of origin claim

While the normal way of expressing this is "Made in the USA", the exact format of a country of origin claim is not prescribed and can even be implied; although “USA Made” is an express claim.

For a product to be called Made in USA, or claimed to be of domestic origin without qualifications or limits on the claim, the product must be “all or virtually all” made in the U.S. The term “United States,” as referred to in the Enforcement Policy Statement, includes the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories and possessions.

This includes the manufacturing of a substantial part of the core product. For example, a knife "made in the USA" might have a foreign-made sheath.

As an aside “American made” is not equivalent to “USA made”. A product made anywhere in North or South America can legitimately claim to be “American made” (assuming it doesn’t imply a country it wast made in). Conversely, a product made in Guam is “USA made” but not “American made”.

  • So 'raw materials' would include the steel, from ore to "pour"? I used to work in this industry as a refinery operator: I am not a metallurgist, but have more that just a pedestrian interest. May 10, 2020 at 22:48
  • 1
    @Rattler - sorry that was a misstatement - I didn't mean raw materials - I'll amend.
    – Dale M
    May 10, 2020 at 23:00

"American made" doesn't mean anything. "Made in USA" has a very specific meaning as defined by US customs.


  • So is "American Made" a kind of scam? May 10, 2020 at 22:04
  • It's marketing, which you could define as creative lying.
    – Tiger Guy
    May 10, 2020 at 22:06
  • How does this apply to this specific topic? Are the American manufacturers/designers/producers escaping legal responsibility for the quality of the product (i.e. product fail) that they themselves sell online ? May 10, 2020 at 22:09
  • 1
    But that says: "A Made in USA claim can be express or implied."///"Examples of express claims: Made in USA. "Our products are American-made." "USA."" May 10, 2020 at 22:34

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