Customs and Border Protection officers assigned to the Area Port of Jacksonville, Florida, inspect a counterfeit Louis Vuitton case shipped directly from China. (Ozzy Trevino/U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

DHS Releases Report on Combating Trafficking in Counterfeit and Pirated Goods

Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released its first report pursuant to President Trump’s April 3, 2019, Memorandum on Combatting Trafficking in Counterfeit and Pirated Goods. The first-ever report outlines a series of recommendations and actions that can be taken by both the federal government and industry partners to combat this illicit trade epidemic.

“The President’s historic Memorandum provides a much warranted and long overdue call to action in the U.S. Government’s fight against a massive form of illicit trade that is inflicting significant harm on the American homeland. The counterfeiting and pirating of goods must be stopped in its tracks and DHS is leading the way in protecting both consumers and businesses,” said Acting Secretary Wolf.

DHS led a robust effort in coordinating with ICE, CBP, and the interagency to develop recommendations focused on protecting businesses and consumers against counterfeits and pirated goods. This report includes more than a dozen recommendations, best practices, and immediate actions to be taken.

“Since its inception the IPR Center has provided public engagement and law enforcement training to partners from more than 100 countries. As with many of our joint investigative priorities, an informed public adds greater strength to our daily efforts to deny transnational criminal organizations the essential payday they need to carry out additional criminal activity.  When it comes to public safety and the security of our nation, we can never have too many partners,” said U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Acting Director Matthew T. Albence.

“Trade in counterfeits not only damages our economy, but it also threatens national security and consumer health and safety,” said Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan, “Counterfeits hurt the company whose products are pirated, but the profits from counterfeiting can also fund other serious crimes, including narcotics trafficking and even terrorism.”

The rapid growth of e-commerce platforms has helped fuel the growth of counterfeit and pirated goods into a half trillion-dollar industry. This illicit trade has an enormous impact on the American economy by eroding the competitiveness of American workers, manufacturers and innovation. These goods also represent a national security threat as they may be introduced into critical supply chains or used to generate revenue for transnational criminal organizations.

“With this historic report, all of the bad actors in e-commerce who have been taking a free ride on the pocketbooks of consumers, the backs of American workers, and the innovations of IP rights holders are officially on notice that DHS and this administration will immediately begin taking the strongest steps possible to combat counterfeit trafficking,” said Dr. Peter Navarro.

The full set of recommendations can be found here.

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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