Getting Tough on Counterfeiting

By March 8, 2006Trade

Over $500 billion (yes, that’s with a “b”) in fake goods are traded every year.

And yesterday, Congress decided, enough was enough. We were pleased to see that the House voted to send the Stop Counterfeiting in
Manufactured Goods Act (H.R. 32) to the President’s desk which he has indicated will be signed into law.

As staggering as the dollar figure noted above is, there’s also an often unreported human cost to counterfeiting, namely the accidents and tragedies caused by inferior and unsafe brake linings, heart medicines and other fakes.

Thankfully, this legislation toughens the existing law by allowing the forfeiture not only of counterfeited
goods for sale, but also of the equipment used to make them and it makes the exporting of counterfeited goods a criminal offense.

I’ll admit that when I first came to the NAM I didn’t quite understand the issue of product counterfieting. Then someone explained it rather simply. Product counterfeiters are like spammers. They are shady people who are trying to make a dishonest living pretending to sell the real deal.

And so this legislation that will be signed into law closes a loophole that had previously let some counterfeiters elude prosecution by separating the manufacture of products from the labeling process.

Thank you to Rep. Knollenberg for making this legislation a reality.