Updated Feb. 7, 2024:

In a recent Farm Equipment text poll, 71% of dealers said they’ve seen the influence "Made in the USA” has on customer buying decisions change in the last 5 years. Of that, nearly 39% said it has become more significant to selection, while just over 32% said it’s become less significant. 29% have seen no change in the last 5 years.


Updated Jan. 31, 2024:

Rural Lifestyle Dealer has received the following statement from Kubota regarding the FTC report:

Kubota North America Corporation has settled with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over its Made in USA Labeling Rule. The company paid a $2 million penalty to resolve allegations that the packaging of some replacement parts for tractors and other products sold in the United States incorrectly identified the country of origin of those parts as “Made In USA,” when, in fact, those parts were made elsewhere.

Kubota North America has cooperated fully with the U.S. government throughout this investigation and is voluntarily addressing the FTC's concerns. Kubota North America is committed to complying with the law and the FTC's regulations with respect to “Made In USA” advertising and labelling. Together, with its U.S. subsidiaries, Kubota North America has implemented policies and process improvements, including regular reviews of our supplier information, regarding the accuracy of such labels on all Kubota Genuine Parts. All parts in this matter sold to customers since 2021 were produced by approved Kubota suppliers, and Kubota continues to stand behind these parts as "Kubota Genuine Parts." 

Kubota regrets that this matter has occurred. But we recognize that our company, our process, and our business have been improved by sincerely learning from this matter. Kubota will continue to take steps to improve and enhance our commitment to compliance.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reported Jan. 26, 2024, that Kubota North America Corporation will pay a $2 million civil penalty as a result of a Federal Trade Commission action against the company for falsely labeling some of its replacement parts as being “Made in USA."

Under a stipulated court order filed by the Department of Justice on the FTC’s behalf and agreed to by the company, Kubota will be prohibited from making deceptive claims in addition to requiring them to pay the penalty, which is the largest ever in a Made in USA case.

The complaint filed in the case charges that since at least 2021, Kubota has labeled thousands of replacement parts for its tractors and other agricultural equipment as Made In USA, even though they were made entirely overseas. In addition, after the company moved manufacturing for some parts to other countries, it failed to update the products’ labeling to reflect that change, leaving them labeled as “Made in USA,” according to the complaint.

Kubota was previously sued by the FTC in 1999 for falsely claiming that a line of lawn tractors it manufactured was Made in USA, and was subject to an FTC order in that case that expired in 2019.

The stipulated order against Kubota, which the company has agreed to, includes a number of requirements about the claims the company makes:

Restriction on unqualified claims: Kubota will be prohibited from making unqualified U.S.-origin claims for any product, unless it can show that the product’s final assembly or processing—and all significant processing—takes place in the U.S., and that all or virtually all ingredients or components of the product are made and sourced in the U.S.

  • Requirement for qualified claims: Kubota is required to include in any qualified Made in USA claims a clear and conspicuous disclosure about the extent to which the product contains foreign parts, ingredients or components, or processing.
  • Requirement for assembly claims: Kubota must also ensure, when claiming a product is assembled in the U.S., that it is last substantially transformed in the U.S., its principal assembly takes place in the U.S., and U.S. assembly operations are substantial.
  • Civil Penalty: The order includes a civil penalty of $2 million, which must be paid to the U.S. Treasury.

Click here for more Industry News.