PORTLAND — The U.S. Senate has passed a proposal from a Maine senator to create a standard for products that carry a “Made in America” label.

Independent Sen. Angus King of Maine and Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah made the proposal, which passed unanimously this week. The senators said the patchwork of state laws about the subject cause heavy compliance costs for businesses.

The proposal would create a uniform federal standard for products that have labels that state the item is “Made in the USA” or “Made in America.” It would also make certain that the federal government maintains authority in setting country-of-origin labeling standards and prevent states from creating conflicting standards, the senators said.

King said the labels “are a simple, straightforward way to help consumers make informed decisions – all while supporting American workers and retailers.”

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