Trump orders clamp down on counterfeit goods

Executive order will see US customs agents toughen up on knock-off imports and IP theft to reduce fake trade on Amazon and other online marketplaces

Written by Rhys Thomas

Posted 03.02.2020 | Business

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The US President has signed an executive order to stem the “sourge” of counterfeit goods sold through popular online marketplaces and fortify

Donald Trump has tasked the Department of Homeland Security with toughening up on companies who sell products from overseas to ensure the goods entering the US are authentic.

The aim is to reduce the vast number of fakes and illegitimate products that are widely sold on Amazon and other online shopping destinations by halting goods at the border.   

He has asked the DHS, whose duties include border security and customs among other issues of domestic security, to identify repeat offenders with a view to imposing stricter inspections on those who are unwilling to cooperate.

The move will be welcome to toy companies in the US who have for many years spoken of the damage fake goods can do to legitimate brands, smaller businesses and, in extreme cases, the health of consumers.

Robert Lighthizer, a United States Trade Representative, says: “The trafficking of counterfeit and pirated goods is a scourge that causes significant harm to our workers, consumers, intellectual property owners, and economy. Under President Trump’s leadership, the federal government and industry partners are working together to combat illicit trade.”

The measures also aims to place greater emphasis on protecting US companies against black market traders “who steal American intellectual property and seek to profit off of counterfeit products”.

Amazon last year introduced its own initiative, Amazon Project Zero, to tackle the flow of counterfeit products through its sites. The aim is to give brand and IP owners greater control over the sale of their goods – or knock-offs masquerading as the real deal – through self-service removal, automated software scanning and a system of codes added to packaging during the manufacturing process that Amazon can scan to verify its authenticity.

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