What just happened? The United States and China on Wednesday signed what is being described as “phase one” of a broader trade agreement that, among other things, includes measures to combat the prevalence of counterfeit or pirated goods on e-commerce platforms.
Article 1.14 of the trade agreement notes that both parties shall take effective action with regard to major e-commerce platforms that fail to take the measures necessary to combat the infringement of intellectual property rights.
Specifically, China has agreed to revoke the operating licenses of platforms that become repeat offenders while the US has committed to studying additional means to combat the sale of counterfeit or pirated goods.
As CNBC highlights, that last bit can’t be glossed over. Amazon, one of the biggest e-tailers in the world, has been fighting a very real battle against counterfeit goods on its platform for some time now.
Just under a year ago, the e-commerce giant announced Project Zero as a three-pronged approach to help stamp out fakes. Still, the issue persists, with some advocacy groups going as far as to suggest Amazon should be added to counterfeit vendor watchlists. Earlier this month, the Jeff Bezos-led company reportedly vowed to ramp up reporting of bogus listings on its site to law enforcement.
Masthead credit: Colorful purses by David A. Litman