Aug 7, 2022 - Economy

Pro-Trump apparel company fined for falsely labeling products "Made in USA"

A man carries a flag with the phrase "Lions Not Sheep" at the People's Convoy in Hagerstown, Md., on March 5. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

The Federal Trade Commission ordered apparel company Lions Not Sheep and its owner Sean Whalen to stop labeling its products with fake "Made in USA" tags and pay more than $200,000 in fines.

The big picture: Lions Not Sheep is known for its pro-gun and pro-Trump shirts, featuring phrases like "Let's Go Brandon," "Give Violence a Chance" and "Shall Not Be Infringed."

Driving the news: The company was replacing the "Made in China" tags on its clothes with phony "Made in USA" tags, according to the FTC.

  • Whalen posted a video of himself in October 2020, saying he could "conceal the fact that his shirts are made in China by ripping out the origin tags and replacing them," according to the commission's original complaint.
  • The FTC ordered Whalen and his company to "stop making bogus Made in USA claims" and "come clean about foreign production." Whalen must also pay a $211,335 fine.

What they're saying: "Whalen and Lions Not Sheep must stop claiming that products are made in the United States unless they can show that the product’s final assembly or processing — and all significant processing — takes place here and that all or virtually all ingredients or components of the product are made and sourced here," the FTC said in a press release.

  • To use a "Made in USA" tag, Lions Not Sheep must ensure that the item is "substantially transformed in the United States, its principal assembly takes place in the United States, and U.S. assembly operations are substantial," as well as clearly disclose "the extent to which the product contains foreign parts, ingredients or components, or processing," according to the FTC.
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