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White House Pushes Anti-Counterfeiting Measures

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The Trump administration released a presidential memorandum this week aimed at stopping the flow of counterfeit goods—a big win for manufacturers, and a victory for the NAM, which has pushed aggressively for safeguards against fake products and intellectual property theft.

Why it matters: According to the NAM’s research, fake and counterfeit products cost the United States $131 billion and 325,000 jobs in 2019 alone. In the midst of the global pandemic, as American manufacturers work to deliver day-to-day necessities as well as medical products, therapeutics and treatments, it’s more important than ever to root out counterfeit items that can put lives and livelihoods at risk.

The groundwork: The move follows a report released by the NAM in July, titled “Countering Counterfeits,” which proposed solutions for Congress, the administration and the private sector, including:

  • Requiring e-commerce platforms to reduce the availability of counterfeits;
  • Modernizing enforcement laws and tactics to keep pace with counterfeiting technology;
  • Streamlining government coordination to tackle counterfeit items;
  • Improving private-sector collaboration; and
  • Empowering consumers to avoid counterfeit goods.

The improvements: Many of the NAM’s proposed solutions made it into the memorandum, including a call for legislative action, a directive to focus on counterfeits sold online, a push for better government coordination and a focus on holding e-commerce platforms more directly accountable. The document also expanded the definition for “counterfeit goods” to “deceptive and misleading use in commerce of marks, including trademarks, goods that are trademarked and trade names”—a broader definition that will provide manufacturers more protection.

The last word: “Innovation and intellectual property are the backbone of the manufacturing industry, and America is a global leader on these issues,” said NAM Director of Innovation Policy Stephanie Hall. “This presidential memorandum represents a vital step in protecting the hard work of American manufacturers and strengthening our ability to compete and win around the world.”

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