Industry welcomes Trump's order to boost defence against fakes

US President Donald Trump, making good on his election promise to help tighten up protection for American industries, has signed an executive order aimed at preventing counterfeits from entering the country.

The executive order, 'Establishing Enhanced Collection and Enforcement of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties and Violations of Trade and Customs Laws', will give the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) new powers to keep counterfeit goods from entering the US.

The order boosts the CBP's ability to share information with rights holders to seek out IP violations, as well as info regarding merchandise voluntarily abandoned that violates trade laws.

The US attorney general has also been given new powers to develop prosecution practices and allocate resources to treat significant trade law violations as a high priority.

"The men and women of CBP are committed to enforcing the trade laws of the US to defend the economic competitiveness of domestic industries against unfair trade practices and dangerous counterfeits that could harm consumers," said acting commissioner Kevin McAleenan.

"This executive order gives CBP and our partners at US Immigration and Customs Enforcement [ICE] important and powerful new tools to further level the playing field for critical US industries."

The CBP has been under increasing pressure in recent years to battle fakes coming across the border, and in 2016 alone, it seized over 28,000 shipments via mail or express consignments, valued at over $714m. An additional $650m-worth of goods was seized via large-scale cargo shipment and other means.

The Washington, DC-based industry lobby group the International Anticounterfeiting Association welcomed the new order, with its president Bob Barchiesi saying: "Co-operation between America's manufacturers and innovators and our colleagues at US Customs and Border Protection has long been a cornerstone of intellectual property enforcement at the borders, and today's action by the Administration serves to strengthen that partnership. "

"While the illegal importation of counterfeit goods continues to pose a threat to both consumers and legitimate businesses, we welcome the opportunity to work more closely with CBP, and with other responsible partners to keep those illicit, and often dangerous, goods out of the marketplace."

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