Monday, May 13, 2013

"Made in California" labelling - Protectionism?

We are familiar with the Buy American provisions. Now a proposed Bill in California that encourages "Made in California" labelling is making the news. News about it is found here. The Bill is found here.

The purpose of the Bill is stated here:
"The Made in California Program, a public and private collaboration, is hereby created within the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. The purposes of the program are to encourage consumer product awareness and to foster purchases of high-quality products manufactured in this state."
Private businesses can participate in the program on a voluntary basis. I am not sure if there is a GATT violation here but the Canada-US Blog termed it as State Protectionism.
"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."
It may just be a labelling program without any international trade law implications. Or who knows - a Canada-Us dispute at the WTO?


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