Pro-Trump brand fined for using fake ‘Made in USA’ labels

·2 min read

A pro-Donald Trump brand was fined by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for using fake “Made in USA” labels on items that were imported from other countries.

The Utah-based apparel company Lions Not Sheep was first cited by the FTC in May for replacing “Made in China” tags on their clothing with bogus “Made in USA” labels.

The company and its owner, Sean Whalen, were ordered to pay $212,335 in fines and stop producing apparel with the fake tags, according to a statement from the FTC.

“Stop making bogus Made in USA claims, and come clean about foreign production,” read the FTC’s 28 July statement.

Lions Not Sheep is widely known for producing clothing with conservative messaging, including apparel with slogans like “Let’s Go Brandon” and “Shall Not Be Infringed”, referring to the right to bear arms.

A free copy of the US constitution is also shipped with every order, according to the brand’s website.

The company sells T-shirts, hats and other clothing through its website and Amazon, reports USA Today.

According to the FTC complaint, in October 2020 Whalen admitted that the brand’s shirts were actually made in China and screen printed in the US, after multiple comments from others asking if the products were made in the US.

During the four minute video posted to social media, Whalen stated: “So our shirts are made in America … But those shirts are made in China, just like damn near every single made in America shirt you’re wearing is. This is how it works.”

The following year, the FTC claims, Lions Not Sheep began changing the labels on their clothing to “Made in USA” tags, despite the apparel coming from foreign countries.

The FTC said in a statement that the company must stop claiming the products are made in the US “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”.

Whalen and Lions Not Sheep have not commented on the most recent FTC decision.