Trump takes aim at counterfeit and piracy

US President Donald Trump has signed a memorandum on combating trafficking in counterfeit and pirated goods that focuses on third-party marketplaces like Alibaba, Amazon and eBay.

The memo calls for a coordinated response by the federal government to the problem, and notes that these activities undermine the economic competitiveness of the US, cheat consumers and pose health and safety risks, and damages the reputations of brand and online markets.

Trump wants to see an expansion and enhancement of efforts by the government to curb online trafficking in counterfeit and pirated goods through “third-party intermediaries,” which include e-commerce sites as well as carriers, customs brokers, payment providers, vendors and others. That effort will need closer cooperation between government and private industry.

The first task will be the preparation of a report on the current state of counterfeit and piracy trafficking in the US – expected within 210 days – to “develop a deeper understanding of the extent to which online third-party marketplaces and other third party intermediaries are used to facilitate the importation and sale of counterfeit and pirated goods.”

It goes on: “This review should include data regarding the origins of counterfeit and pirated goods and the types of counterfeit and pirated goods that are trafficked, along with any other relevant data, and shall provide a foundation for any recommended administrative, regulatory, legislative, or policy changes.”

The report should look at how third-parties handle trafficking at the moment and try to identify best practices, and identify guidance that could be published to help prevent the importation and sale of counterfeit and pirated goods.

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