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What is the history of federal regulation for deceptive trade practices and consumer protection?

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Consumer protection agencies have been established on state levels as part of state attorney general offices. These agencies are different from and unconnected with the federal and state agencies that regulate fair trade practices. Since the 1960s, each state has statutes regulating fair trade practices though the federal government, since 1914, legislates national fair trade practices relating to these areas of restrictions and prohibitions in business practices:

  • unfair trade practices
  • deceptive trade practices
  • and unfair competition

It is the Federal Trade Commission that regulates federal, nationally imposed laws that prohibit specific practices in interstate commerce. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) enacted the Federal Trade Commission Act of 1914 (FTCA). The FTCA was the first and original federal statue nationally prohibiting "unfair or deceptive trade acts or practices." It has been amended over the years to keep abreast with changes in the business and trade environments.

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