Chinese counterfeit goods are a growing issue in the U.S. market as U.S. manufacturers struggle to compete with much cheaper competition. In February, small business owners urged President Trump to do something about the counterfeiters who have been eating into their revenue.
Not much later, Trump signed an executive order to stop the sale of counterfeit products from abroad sold online to U.S. consumers. However, some small businesses say there’s still a lot that needs to be done.
And they’re correct–counterfeits are having negative effects all over the world. According to the OECD, counterfeit and fake goods accounted for 3.3% of all global trade, worth $509 billion in 2016. The DHS reported seizures of counterfeit goods at U.S. borders have increased tenfold over the past two decades, with nearly 90% of seized products in 2018 arriving from mainland China or Hong Kong.
“The epicenter, ground zero, of the manufactured counterfeit goods is China,” said Bob Barchiesi, president of the International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition. “I think it gets solved when you have Chinese companies and Chinese innovation and they start getting counterfeited,” he said.
While China has the materials, manpower, and other capabilities to manufacture counterfeit goods, they would have no profit without product ideas stolen from the U.S. and other countries.
Recently, Sen. Tom Cotton proposed a bill that would revoke China’s most-favored-nation status stating, “We need to put the pressure on China every year to stop stealing and profiting off of our intellectual property.”
“We are sending a clear message to any U.S. company that has imported goods that they have a clear responsibility here to ensure that the goods they’re bringing into this country are not made with forced labor,” said Mark Morgan, acting Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection. “It’s not that we’re targeting China, it’s that we’re targeting who’s using forced labor. Right now, China is just at the top of that list.”