US adds WeChat and AliExpress to list of foreign counterfeiters

The Biden administration on Thursday added the e-commerce ecosystem of WeChat and AliExpress, an e-commerce site owned by Alibaba, to annual market list which the United States considers to be related to counterfeiting and piracy.

The administration said these practices caused significant financial damage to American businesses and workers and posed a risk to consumer safety last year.

The Biden administration also removed some of Amazon’s foreign stores from the list, which the Trump administration added for the first time. its report Released in January of last year.

The introduction of Amazon stores into the UK, Canada, France, Germany and India has accelerated an objection from the company, claiming that its inclusion was promoted by an “individual supplier” on behalf of the Trump administration, despite customer feedback about counterfeit products on the platform.

New reportreleased by the Office of the United States Trade Representative on Thursday morning, identified 42 online and 35 physical marketplaces that sell or facilitate trade with a variety of counterfeit or pirated goods, including counterfeit Nike products, pirated books and academic materials, music files, and virtual items such as video games.

The list includes some of China’s major e-commerce businesses, such as Taobao, an e-commerce site owned by Alibaba; DHGate, a business-to-business e-commerce platform; and Baidu Wangpan, a cloud storage service that allows users to share pirated movies, TV shows, and books.

The trade representative said a number of countries had made progress in cracking down on the trade in counterfeit goods, including Brazil, the Philippines, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates. It also said it had noted a shift of pirated goods from physical to online marketplaces, in part due to the pandemic’s impact on global tourism.

The report also identifies a new ecosystem: “piracy as a service,” in which operators provide website templates, databases of infringing video content, or other features. make it easy for customers to set up piracy activities.

“The global trade in counterfeit and counterfeit goods undermines vital U.S. innovation and creativity and harms American workers,” said Katherine Tai, US trade representative. Tai, the US trade representative, said in a statement. “This illegal trade also increases the vulnerability of workers involved in the production of counterfeit goods to labor exploitation and counterfeiting activities that can pose significant risks to to the health and safety of consumers and workers around the world.”

The report also looks at the impact of counterfeit goods on those who produce them, part of the administration’s focus on how trade impacts workers. Because these businesses are outlawed, counterfeiting and piracy often go hand-in-hand with unsafe working conditions, child labor, forced labor and other problems, USTR said.

“Manufacturing of counterfeit goods often occurs in clandestine workplaces that are beyond the reach of labor market regulations and inspection systems, which increases the vulnerability of workers against acts of labor exploitation”.

The report would not impose immediate penalties on the companies named, although it said the goal of publishing such a list was to “promote appropriate action by the private sector and the government.” government.”

Congress is weighing a number of actions that could curb Chinese e-commerce sales to the United States, including counterfeit goods, as part of a major legislative effort to boost business competitiveness. US relations with China.

One provision, proposed by Representative Earl Blumenauer, Democrat of Oregon, would raise the dollar value threshold of a good that can enter the United States duty-free from certain countries, specifically is China.

That level, known as de minimis, is set at $800 in the United States. That’s much higher than in many other countries, a policy that critics say has led to an explosion in imported e-commerce packages, including some unsafe goods. and illegal. US adds WeChat and AliExpress to list of foreign counterfeiters

Fry Electronics Team

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