Trump trumps sales of counterfeit goods on marketplaces

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US President Donald Trump has signed a memorandum focused on cracking down sales on counterfeit goods on third-party marketplaces.

The presidential memorandum issued on 3rd of April called out third-party marketplaces, carriers, customs brokers, payment providers, vendors, and others involved in international transactions to cooperate with the state to combat counterfeit and pirated goods.

The memorandum said that Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) estimated the value of trade in counterfeit and pirated goods to be approximately half a trillion dollars per annum, with roughly 20% of this trade infringing upon intellectual property belonging to United States citizens. A recent Government Accountability Office report examined four categories of frequently counterfeited goods, and, based on a small sample of these goods purchased through various online third-party marketplaces, found that more than 40% were counterfeit.

The Trump administration has called out Secretary of Homeland Security and coordination with the Secretary of Commerce to provide a report “analysing available data and other information” to determine the role of marketplaces in facilitating, importing and selling fake goods. It will also focus on addressing the practices of counterfeiters and pirates, including their shipping, fulfilment, and payment logistics, and assess means of mitigating the factors that facilitate trafficking in counterfeit and pirated goods. The review will then track the origins of counterfeit and pirated goods and those that are trafficked to lay a foundation for any recommended administrative, regulatory, legislative, or policy changes.

This news highlights the growing importance of tackling fraudulent products that have risen to unprecedented levels to get the attention of the US Federal government. It remains to be seen what will come out of the report and what would be its impact on marketplace merchants.


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