President Donald Trump has “decided it is time to clean up this Wild West of counterfeiting”, taking aim at online retailers like Amazon and Ebay.
Earlier this week Trump signed a presidential memorandum which has called for a crackdown of the sale of counterfeit products on third party retail websites, with the value of counterfeit products anticipated to rise to $500 billion this year.
“The president has decided it is time to clean up this Wild West of counterfeiting and trafficking,” White House economic adviser Peter Navarro said.
He added that these third-party marketplaces included “Alibaba, Amazon and Ebay” and that it was their “job to police these matters, and if you won’t clean it up the government will”.
These retailers have been quick to highlight their efforts to tackle the sale of counterfeit goods on their platforms.
In February Amazon announced its new “Project Zero” initiative will utilise machine learning capabilities to continuously scan Amazon’s five billion daily product listing updates, using logos, trademarks and other key data provided directly by the brands to seek out counterfeits.
An Amazon spokesperson said in response to Trumps memo: “Amazon invests heavily in proactive measures to prevent counterfeit goods from ever reaching our stores. In 2018 alone, we spent over $400M fighting counterfeits, fraud, and other forms of abuse”.
Meanwhile Alibaba added: “Alibaba has developed best-in-class systems to protect IP and battle the scourge of counterfeiting. We look forward to further advancing the working relationship and cooperation that we have with the U.S. federal agencies mentioned in today’s order, as well as with our global commerce peers.”