Orrin Hatch on Counterfeiting, Piracy

By March 10, 2008Trade

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) gave a fine speech last week to the Emergency Committee for American Trade on counterfeiting and protection of intellectual property. From “Counterfeiting and piracy aren’t just about downloaded music, pirated software, or fake designer hand bags.”

Counterfeiting and piracy aren’t just about downloaded music, pirated software, or fake designer hand bags. It’s about the health and safety of the American people.

Indeed, counterfeiting and piracy affect all sectors of our economy, including pharmaceuticals, auto parts, and the quality and safety of our food.

Consider the following:

• General Motors and its suppliers lose billions of dollars annually from lost sales due to counterfeit parts.
• In fact, General Motors says it has come across brake linings made of wood chips and cardboard that could burst into flames with heavy use and coolant that can eat through a car’s radiator in 48 hours.
• The Federal Aviation Administration estimates that 520,000 parts installed on airplanes each year are counterfeit.
• The operational life of counterfeit bearing seal-spacers removed from a United Airlines plane were found to last only 600 hours while genuine parts had a life of 20,000 hours.
• The World Health Organization estimates that counterfeit drugs account for 10% of all pharmaceuticals. That number rises to as high as 60% in some developing countries.

Unfortunately, the list goes on and on.

Sen. Hatch is developing legislation to expand the federal government’s ability to counter these dangers.

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