Canada-U.S. Blog Trade Lawyers Cyndee Todgham Cherniak and Susan K. Ross

California’s Proposed “Made in California” Labels Law is State Protectionism

Posted in Buy America, Cross-border trade, Legal Developments, Politics, State Governments

Canada-US Blog has received the following information from Birgit Matthiesen, Special Advisor to the President and CEO of the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters:

The Los Angeles Times reports that “there are in-state manufacturers that want to see the adoption of an official label that declares Made in California. State Sen. Ellen M. Corbett (D-San Leandro) has introduced legislation to require Go-Biz, the governor’s business development office, to come up with a plan – including the new label – to promote California-manufactured products.” Sen. Corbett said the legislation “would enhance California’s reputation for making environmentally safe and energy efficient products.”

The legislation is SB 12 and the link to the nine page bill is below.

http://leginfo.ca.gov/pub/13-14/bill/sen/sb_0001-0050/sb_12_bill_20121203_introduced.pdf

The definition of “manufacturer” from page 8 is particularly of concern.

(2) For purposes of this section, “manufacture” means the line process of taking raw materials or components and adding value line to those materials and components in order to create a final, line recognizable product. “Manufacture” does not include the process line of completing a final assembly from subassemblies made line elsewhere, or the act of packaging a product.

Canadian manufacturers and exporters should be concerned about the proliferation of State Buy America initiatives. This is just one example of a developing problem for cross-border trade.

Thank you to Birgit for letting us know about this important development.