How does prefinishing contribute to the Made In USA claim?
Is it a service, a process, or a product? The Made In USA claim applies to concrete products. A pure service would not qualify. A Service tab on Midwest Prefinishing’s (MP) website replaces the more typical Products tab found on other sites. So, at first glance, MP contributes nothing to its customers’ Made In USA claim.
Afterall, homeowners don’t buy a sheet of rolled-up finishing, put it in their shopping cart, go home, and then glue it to their door’s surface. It’s not a stand-alone, finished (no pun intended) product.
Three ways of measuring prefinishing’s contribution. On the other hand, prefinishing is not exclusively a service either. First, it embodies physical properties. True, it takes a backseat to the product itself, existing only as its component or attribute. But it’s a kind of sub-product.
Second, it’s a process, an element of the Made In USA unqualified claim included in the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) standard:
“…all significant parts and processing that go into the product must be of U.S. origin. That is, the product should contain no-or negligible-foreign content. … The product’s final assembly or processing must take place in the U.S.” (Complying with the Made In USA Standard.)
Third, it adds value to a product. In an article in the DWM Magazine (First-Place Finishes), Chuck Mierau of Badger Corrugating “estimates the value-added benefit of prefinishing at 35% of a typical pre-hung door order.” That’s significant. And, the FTC evaluates “how much of the product’s total manufacturing costs can be assigned to U.S. parts and processing…”
Proud to play a part. All told, prefinishing justifies its contribution to the Made In USA claim in three ways: it’s a sub-product, it’s a process, and it adds significant value. Prefinishers can’t make the Made In USA claim for themselves. But when MP prefinishes a product Made In USA, it’s proud to be a part of it.