On April 3, President Trump issued a memorandum to help protect American consumers, manufacturers and factory workers from counterfeit goods. Escalated by the steep increase in e-commerce, the problems of fake merchandise would be addressed by the directive, which calls for a coordinated approach by the government and its agencies, together with private industry.
Although there is no immediate action indicated against the makers and sellers of these goods, the memo targets the trafficking of counterfeit goods through third-party marketplaces such as eBay, Amazon and Alibaba. “This is a warning shot…that it is your job to police these matters, and if you don’t clean it up, the government will,” said Peter Navarro, director of the White House National Trade Council. In a recent investigation by the General Accounting Office, 40 percent of brand-name goods purchased from popular online retailers were counterfeit, Navarro said.
“This increase in counterfeit shipments through e-commerce business coincides with the raising of the maximum value of Section 321 clearances from $200 to $800 a few years ago, said Bill Skinner, President of WB Skinner. “Section 321 was originally written to address items of very limited value ($200 or less) where the time and work involved in making the entry would not be worth the effort,” he said. “Now that the maximum value has been raised to $800, companies are using “e-commerce” to sell directly to online consumers from factories in China and other countries — without paying any duty.”
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