Legislation aimed at encouraging consumers to buy American-made products and creating incentives for manufacturers to increase domestic production has been introduced in the US.

The Made in America Act proposes a voluntary labelling programme that would allow consumers to easily identify the extent to which products are American-made.

Called America Star, the initiative would require the Secretary of Commerce to set the standards that a product needs to meet in order to carry the label.

It would also need input from the Federal Trade Commission to ensure consistency, especially the extent to which products are made in the US.

"Americans know the phrase 'Made in America' carries a meaning of quality and craftsmanship - this bill helps consumers easily identify when they're buying American," said Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick, who introduced the bill in the House last week.

"By connecting American consumers to American manufacturers like never before, we can bring more good paying manufacturing jobs back to the US."

He points out that companies with US manufacturing facilities have already started to tag their products as American-made - and that this legislation standardises the identification process.