President Donald Trump signed off on a memorandum Wednesday (April 3) aimed at curbing the sale of counterfeit goods, reported Reuters.
Citing Peter Navarro, White House economic adviser, Reuters reported the White House is trying to stop the sale of fake goods via Alibaba, Amazon, eBay and other third-party online marketplaces. Under the order, the Homeland Security Department, Commerce Department and Justice Department will provide recommendations within 210 days on how the government can tackle the problem, better monitor it and police it. “The president has decided it is time to clean up this Wild West of counterfeiting and trafficking,” Navarro said, according to the news outlet.
With the leading online marketplaces struggling to clamp down on fake goods being sold on their platforms, the government has decided to intervene. CNBC reported Navarro said the White House wants to gather information on the extent of the problem and its causes. The government plans to look at how effective current strategies are at curbing counterfeit goods and what can be done in the future.
“By establishing a strategy and blueprint for change, today’s presidential memorandum takes an important step toward holding online third-party marketplaces and other intermediaries accountable,” Navarro wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed late Tuesday (April 2). “The directive instructs the Department of Homeland Security to coordinate with federal law-enforcement agencies working to combat counterfeiting of good. Online third-party marketplaces should note these efforts and move swiftly to clean up their own houses.”
Navarro called out Alibaba, Amazon, and eBay specifically in the opinion piece, arguing there's a good chance consumers will end up with counterfeits when they purchase on the platforms. “Why are counterfeits ubiquitous in third-party online marketplaces? For one, because customs law has not kept up with the surge of e-commerce. Alibaba, Amazon, and eBay face virtually no liability when they act as middlemen for counterfeiters,” he wrote.