The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released its first report on combating trafficking in counterfeit and pirated goods, indicating it’s ready to crack down on bad actors.
The department sent President Donald Trump the first-ever report, which outlines a series of recommendations and actions that can be taken by both the federal government and industry partners. The report was in response to Trump’s April 2019 Memorandum on Combating Trafficking in Counterfeit and Pirated Goods.
“The President’s historic memorandum provides a much warranted and long overdue call to action in the U.S. government’s fight against a massive form of illicit trade that is inflicting significant harm on the American homeland,” said Acting Secretary Chad Wolf in a statement. “The counterfeiting and pirating of goods must be stopped in its tracks, and DHS is leading the way in protecting both consumers and businesses.”
At The Hill, writer Emily Birnbaum notes that the crackdown comes just as the administration is finding agreement with China on a trade deal. China is the source of most fake products, and its new trade agreement with the U.S. requires China’s government to take stronger action against counterfeit goods.
“The rise of e-commerce platforms like Amazon and eBay have led to an enormous flood of counterfeit goods in U.S. markets, opening the door for shady sellers to gain prominence and sell cheap knock-offs of products like purses and toys across the world’s most powerful retail platforms,” Birnbaum writes.
While those e-commerce platforms all maintain policies against counterfeit and pirated goods, they often struggle to police what is real and what isn’t.
“Now, DHS says law enforcement will be seeking out any and all fake products and using ‘all available statutory authorities to pursue civil fines and other penalties against these entities,’” Birnbaum writes.