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SMITH CORONA CHALLENGES MADE IN USA LABEL ON BROTHER PRODUCTS PRESSES ITS FTC PETITION

 SMITH CORONA CHALLENGES MADE IN USA LABEL ON BROTHER PRODUCTS
 PRESSES ITS FTC PETITION
 NEW CANAAN, Conn., Dec. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- In response to a claim by Brother Industries Inc. that it is "complying precisely with the FTC's rules" concerning the proper labeling of electronic typewriters, Smith Corona Corporation's (NYSE: SCO) chief executive G. Lee Thompson repeated his concern over misleading labeling by the Japanese firm.
 On Nov. 22, Smith Corona filed a petition with the Federal Trade Commission against Brother Industries, calling into question the Japanese manufacturer's use of the term "Made in the U.S.A." superimposed on an American flag emblazoned on products shipped from Brother's Tennessee facility. Brother says that its products are actually stamped "Made in the U.S.A. from Imported and Domestic Parts."
 Thompson indicated that such labeling is deceptive, and repeated his call for stricter labeling guidelines throughout all manufacturing.
 "Based on Federal Trade Commission guidelines for products sold in the United States," Thompson said, "if more than 50 percent of the product is from another country, the product must be labeled as from that country. If domestic parts make up between 50 and 100 percent of a product, the label does not have to say where the product is made, but it can be labeled as being assembled in the U.S. with products from specific countries, which should be named."
 Thompson added that "Brother's product is not made in the U.S. and, according to the FTC's own guidelines, cannot even be said to be assembled in the U.S. That determination was made by our own Department of Commerce, as reported in the Federal Register of Oct. 2, 1991. These comments from the register, excerpted for brevity, say it better than I can:
 'While a small minority of Brother's parts usage is of U.S. origin, they can be characterized as primarily non-critical parts, i.e., those not comprising the heart of the product, which confer upon a typewriter its essential character. The primary mechanical and electronic elements are imported..
 'While Brother's (plant in Tennessee) may be a complex assembly operation, it is not, in reality, more than assembly...
 'Brother's products have been developed, designed and engineered outside the U.S. over several years...(and) when considered in combination with the nature of Brother's operation, the low number of domestic parts, and its domestic value-added, is one of the most compelling factors affecting (the Commerce Department's) analysis...that Brother's activities in the U.S. are not sufficient to qualify it as a U.S. manufacturer.'"
 -0- 12/12/91
 /CONTACT: Patricia Cornell of Smith Corona, 203-972-1471/
 (SCO) CO: Smith Corona Corporation; Brother Industries Inc. ST: Connecticut IN: CPR SU:


SH-OS -- NY078 -- 2091 12/12/91 15:57 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 12, 1991
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