Washington DC
04 April 2017
Reporter: Barney Dixon

Trump takes on counterfeiting with executive order


US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order that includes a provision to implement strategies to address the influx of illegal counterfeit goods into the country.

The order states that the secretary of homeland security, John Kelly, will “develop and implement a strategy and plan for combating violations of US trade and custom laws”.

This includes ensuring the “timely and efficient enforcement of laws protecting intellectual property rights holders from the importation of counterfeit goods”.

Specifically, it requires Kelly to “take all appropriate steps” to ensure that US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) can share with rights holders: “Any information necessary to determine whether there has been an IP rights infringement or violation; and any information regarding merchandise voluntarily abandoned … before seizure, if the commissioner of CBP reasonably believes that the successful importation of the merchandise would have violated US trade laws.”

International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition president Bob Barchiesi welcomed the order, stating: “Cooperation between America’s manufacturers and innovators and our colleagues at US CBP has long been a cornerstone of IP enforcement at the borders, and today’s action by the administration serves to strengthen that partnership.”

“While the illegal importation of counterfeit goods continues to pose a threat to both consumers and legitimate businesses, we welcome the opportunity to work more closely with CBP, and with other responsible partners to keep those illicit, and often dangerous, goods out of the marketplace.”

US executive orders are issued by US presidents towards agencies of the government. They have the full force of law, but are subject to judicial review.

Trump has issued 23 executive orders since becoming president on 20 January, two of which were controversial travel bans that were later overturned by federal judges in Hawaii and Maryland.

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