The Trump administration is pushing to roll back an Obama-era rule that bars companies from using the names of American companies in their marketing materials, but some are wary of a move that could hurt their ability to build brand loyalty.
The Trump-era ban on trade associations, which was first proposed by the president in December, has been a thorn in the side of companies that have been trying to sell products to the American public.
The Commerce Department says the ban is needed to prevent foreign firms from artificially inflating their U.S. sales.
Trump has proposed scrapping the rule altogether, but the Commerce Department has not publicly ruled out an appeal.
The rule, which came into effect last July, prohibits foreign firms and their subsidiaries from using trade associations to market their products in the U.K., Canada, Germany, Mexico, France, Brazil, Russia and India.
The U.N. trade agency said the rule unfairly targets U.C. Berkeley’s Berkeley Lab, which uses Berkeley Lab’s name.
Trump administration officials have argued that the rule is needed for U.V.A. to provide scientific and technical expertise to U.L.A., a company that builds microprocessors that help power smartphones and other mobile devices.
U.U.L.’s use of the company’s name in advertising was deemed “misleading” and “likely misleading,” according to a Justice Department review.
The review noted that U.B. Lab’s sales are “relatively high” and that “the use of Berkeley Lab names is unlikely to adversely affect the competitiveness of the UB.
The Justice Department did not respond to requests for comment.
The Justice department did not return calls for comment Tuesday.
The American Association of Government Employees has urged the Justice Department to keep the rule, saying the U-L.a. trade association is “a key partner in advancing U.H.V.” development, and it “has a strong stake in promoting U.A.-H.U.’s future.”
The group also called on the Justice department to make sure companies don’t use trade associations for “unfair or deceptive business practices.”
The Trump team said it is not opposed to the rule being repealed.
“The U.T.A.’s efforts to support U.I.L., U.R.I., U-U.
A-H.B., and U.P. have resulted in significant economic and business benefits,” a White House official told reporters Tuesday.