US issue memo on tackling online counterfeit and pirated goods
US President Donald Trump has issued a presidential memorandum aimed at protecting US
companies from the harmful effects of the online counterfeit goods trade. This adds to a
long list of countries taking enhanced measures to improve their online brand protection.
The memorandum calls for the preparation of a report that will analyse data on trafficking
through online third-party marketplaces, evaluate current policies on trafficking and suggest
future changes and improvements to be made.
The memorandum was released earlier this month amidst tension-filled trade talks between
China and the USA; however, Peter Navarro, who serves as Assistant to the President and
Director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, denied that the memorandum had any
connection to the talks. Navarro stated that the growing issue of online trafficking was partly
due to customs laws not having “kept up with the surge of e-commerce” yet also claimed
that the government’s goal “is to rightly shift the burden of trafficking to the supply chain
and third party online marketplaces and intermediaries”.
Online shopping platforms referred to by Navarro genuinely welcome the memorandum and
hope for even more collaboration from the US authorities’ side. E-commerce giants Amazon,
Ebay, and Alibaba have all taken ambitious steps towards shutting down counterfeiters
operating on their platforms and ridding their websites of counterfeit goods, and they have
expressed optimism towards the United States’ new stance.