USTR may add Amazon cites to Notorious Markets list; report

The US Trade Representatives next list of notorious marketplaces for intellectual property-infringing goods could include Amazon sites, according to media reports.

Citing people familiar with the matter, the Wall Street Journal says some of the retail giant’s overseas sites are under consideration for inclusion in this year’s list, although it notes that was also the case last year and Amazon escaped inclusion in the final cut.

There has been pressure from trade organisations such as the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) to get Amazon included in the Special 301 listing of Notorious Markets for some time.

For this year’s listing, the AAFA has requested that Amazon’s Canadian, German, UK, French and Indian sites are listed based on “the ongoing brand protection concerns of our members”, amongst other online marketplaces including,, and and others.

Last year, only the Canadian, UK and German sites were included in the lobbying group’s submission. The WSJ sources have suggested that Trump administration officials are giving serious consideration to the request, which comes after the President signed a memorandum on combating trafficking in counterfeit and pirated goods that focuses on third-party marketplaces earlier this year.

The list currently features e-commerce platform Taobao, which is owned and operated by Alibaba, but which has protested fiercely against its inclusion.

Amazon insists that it strictly prohibits the sale of counterfeits on its websites and invests “tremendous resources to protect our marketplace from inauthentic goods.”

The company’s vice president of public policy Brian Huseman has previously accused brand owners of missing an opportunity to clamp down on IP-infringing goods on its sites by not making use of anti-counterfeit tools such as its Transparency product serialization service and Project Zero for the automated takedown of suspect listings.

In its submission, the AAFA says:

“Amazon’s engagement is certainly an important component of addressing intellectual property and brand protection issues on the platform. However, engagement only goes so far – Amazon needs to go further, by demonstrating the commitment to the resources and leadership necessary to make their brand protection programs scalable, transparent, and most importantly, effective.”

The next edition of the Notorious Markets list is expected to be published in the next few weeks.

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