Trump Administration to crackdown on pirated, counterfeit goods sold on major e-commerce sites

The Trump administration is set to unveil, on Friday, its efforts to crack down on pirated and counterfeit goods that are sold on major e-commerce sites.

Chad Wolf, the acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary along with White House adviser Peter Navarro, will be among the officials to discuss the effort at the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center in Arlington, Virginia, said administration officials.

Currently, foreign sellers face limited risk of prosecution, said an administration official thus strong government action “is necessary to fundamentally realign incentive structures.”

U.S. law enforcement agencies plan on taking “immediate actions” to identify counterfeit goods and seek “all available statutory authorities to pursue civil fines and other penalties against these entities,” reads a DHS report from the Wall Street Journal.

The U.S. government is also seeking legal authority “to explicitly permit the government to seek injunctive relief against third-party marketplaces and other intermediaries dealing in counterfeit merchandise,” confirmed the official.

If companies were to adopt the best practices, the Administration believes it will significantly reduce trafficking in counterfeit and pirated goods, said the official.

A memo signed by Trump, states, the value of global trade in counterfeit and pirated goods may rise to half a trillion dollars a year. 20% of this trade infringes on U.S. intellectual property.

“The president has decided it is time to clean up this Wild West of counterfeiting and trafficking,” Navarro said.

In 2019, Amazon had it “invests heavily in proactive measures to prevent counterfeit goods from ever reaching our stores. In 2018 alone, we spent over $400M fighting counterfeits, fraud, and other forms of abuse.”

Incidentally, the Phase 1 U.S.-China trade deal requires Beijing to adopt improved criminal and civil procedures to combat online infringement of counterfeit and pirated goods.

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