Economic news from February 17, 2022

“The global trade in counterfeit and pirated goods is undermining America’s essential innovation and creativity and harming American w...

Credit…Pete Marovich for The New York Times

The Biden administration on Thursday added the e-commerce ecosystem of WeChat and AliExpress, an e-commerce site owned by Alibaba, to an annual list of markets which the United States believes engage in counterfeiting and copyright infringement.

The administration said the activities caused significant financial losses to American businesses and workers and posed consumer safety risks last year.

The Biden administration also delisted several overseas stores from Amazon, which the Trump administration had first added to the list. his report released in January of last year.

The inclusion of Amazon stores in Britain, Canada, France, Germany and India prompted an outcry of the company, which claimed its inclusion was motivated by a “personal vendetta” on behalf of the Trump administration, despite consumer complaints about counterfeit products on the platform.

The new reportreleased by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, identified 42 online marketplaces and 35 physical marketplaces that sold or facilitated trade in a wide range of counterfeit or pirated products, including counterfeit Nike products, books, and merchandise pirated academics, music files and virtual content. items like video games.

The list included several major Chinese e-commerce companies, 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.

In a statement, Alibaba said it looked forward to continuing to work with governments to understand and address concerns about intellectual property protections on its platforms.

“We know the challenges of intellectual property protection and remain fully committed to advancing our leadership in this area,” the company said.

A press officer for Tencent, which owns WeChat, said in a statement that the company strongly disagrees with the decision and is monitoring and deterring intellectual property rights violations.

Protecting intellectual property rights “is at the heart of our business,” the statement said. “We take a comprehensive approach, based on industry best practices, to combat counterfeiting and counterfeiting across all of our platforms.”

The bureau said some countries have made progress in cracking down on the sale of counterfeit products, including Brazil, the Philippines, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates. He also said he documented a shift in pirated goods from physical to online markets, in part because the pandemic has depressed global tourism.

The report also identified a new ecosystem: “piracy as a service”, in which operators offer website templates, databases of infringing video content or other functionalities that allow customers to set up easily hacking operations.

“The global trade in counterfeit and pirated goods is undermining America’s essential innovation and creativity and harming American workers,” Katherine Tai, the U.S. Trade Representative, said in a statement. “This illicit trade also increases the vulnerability of workers involved in the manufacture of counterfeit products to abusive labor practices, and counterfeit products can pose significant health and safety risks to consumers and workers around the world.”

The report also examined the impact of counterfeit products on the people who make them, as part of the administration’s focus on how the trade affects workers. Because these companies operate outside the law, counterfeiting and piracy often goes hand in hand with unsafe working conditions, child labor, forced labor and other issues, the trade representative’s office said.

“Counterfeit manufacturing often occurs in clandestine workplaces beyond the reach of labor market regulations and inspection systems, increasing workers’ vulnerability to exploitative labor practices,” the report said.

The report will not result in any immediate sanctions for the companies named, although he said the aim of publishing such a list was to “motivate appropriate action by the private sector and governments”.

Congress is considering actions that could crack down on sales of Chinese e-commerce, including counterfeit products, to the United States as part of a major legislative effort to promote U.S. economic competitiveness with China.

One provision, proposed by Rep. Earl Blumenauer, Democrat of Oregon, would raise the threshold for the dollar value of a good that could enter the United States duty-free from certain countries, namely China.

This level, called de minimis, is set at $800 in the United States. That’s well above the level of many other countries, a policy that critics say has led to an explosion of imported e-commerce packages, including some dangerous and illicit goods.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Economic news from February 17, 2022
Economic news from February 17, 2022
Newsrust - US Top News
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