American Star Program: A New Way To Look At American Manufacturing

A Pennsylvania congressman introduced a bill and it could mean a new label on American-manufactured products. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-8, of Middletown wants to create a label to help customers distinguish which goods were made in an American factory and to what extent. The Made in America Act of 2017 will develop the ‘American Star Program’ which is a voluntary initiative where manufacturers can qualify for special labeling to be featured on their products. The bill was revealed this week and is being co-sponsored by Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, an Arizona Democrat.

“People in my community understand that when they buy American they’re not only buying quality products, they’re helping American businesses – and American workers – in their neighborhoods and across the country,” Fitzpatrick explained. He continued, ‘The Made in America Act would connect American consumers to American manufacturers like never before by creating a definitive, standardized definition of American-made goods.” http://bit.ly/2xW580L

Similar to USDA Certified Organic programs, becoming a part of the American Star Program will require manufacturers to meet specific criteria to earn the exclusive label. The program will also be broken down into four different labels. They will start with products that used at least 70% of American labor and each label after will increase by ten percentage points, up to 100%.

This kind of legislation creates a better way for shoppers and consumers to more accurately identify which products are made in the United States. Having the tiered labeling system could lead to manufacturers working internally to increase the percentage of American labor that goes into their product, ultimately to receive the highest level of the four different labels.

“Making products in America supports both economic security and national security,” Michael Araten president and CEO of K’NEX a toy manufacturer in Hatfield Township stated (http://bit.ly/2fFC97b). As a local manufacturer, they stand to gain from the American Star Program and can use it as a way to show consumers their commitment to producing their goods in the United States.

This bill is in the very first stages of its journey to become law. It will be some time before it makes its way to the desk of the US president. However, the unique legislation has incredible potential to shine a light on American manufacturers from all over the nation. To follow the progress of the Made in America Act of 2017, Congress’ website has a way to track the bill here.