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Electric Bike Company

With parts made abroad, company's bikes cannot legally be marketed as "built" in America without additional qualifying language.

A recent FTC closing letter to Electric Bike Company (EBC) regarding the Newport Beach-based company’s “built” in the USA claims offers two key takeaways for consumers and businesses alike.

  • To the FTC, “built” in the USA continues to mean the same thing as “made” in the USA, in that both convey the same message to consumers that “all or virtually all” of the advertised product is made in America.
  • If a product “incorporates significant imported parts” — in EBC’s case, German-made tires, Taiwanese-made brakes and Korean-made battery cells, according to a report — it doesn’t matter how much American minds, bodies or machinery were involved in the design or assembly of the product, the product cannot be marketed with unqualified made in the USA claims.

In response to the FTC’s inquiry, EBC, among other things, updated marketing materials to add qualifying language to unqualified made in the USA claims, though it’s clear from the placement of the phrase “with global materials” in parenthesis below “Built in AMERICA” — and adjacent to a GIF of the American flag — on the company’s website that it doesn’t want to draw too much attention to the fact that its bikes aren’t made in America.

Find more of our coverage on made in the USA claims here.

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