Many American companies are quick to flaunt their national heritage with a "Made in the U.S.A" label positioned prominently on packaging.
However, a new initiative from the World Trade Organization may put that practice to an end, The Huffington Post reports. The WTO argues that as more companies have diversified their supply chains, it has become increasingly difficult to claim a product was made in one country when it was likely assembled — at least partially — in a number of different regions.
The WTO suggests country-specific origin labels should be discarded in favor of "Made in the World" labels, a change that many observers are worried would provide consumers with inaccurate information on the goods they'd like to buy.
"For consumers, 'Made in the World' labels wouldn't allow you to protect your family from the tainted, harmful, and even life-threatening products coming from China," Alan Uke, founder of Underwater Kinetics, writes for the news source. "You wouldn't be able to support saving and creating jobs for other Americans by buying 'Made in U.S.A.'"
Some brands have noted that country-of-origin labels provide a sales boost in foreign countries. For example, ABC News recently reported that Chinese consumers are specifically seeking out American products.