Businesses and law enforcement celebrate anniversary of historic anti-counterfeiting partnership

WASHINGTON DC-The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced they will be partnering with the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Major League Baseball (MLB) on the anniversary of a unique partnership to fight against counterfeits.

Counterfeit sporting goods generate millions of dollars in revenue for criminal organizations each year. Last year alone, CBP seized $94 million worth of fake souvenirs, clothing and sports equipment. CBP, the Chamber, the NBA and MLB hope their partnership will help protect consumers and their families from unsafe, substandard and counterfeit products that threaten consumer health and safety and expose law-abiding businesses to unfair economic competition.

The announcement comes just one year after CBP and the House signed a memorandum of understanding to improve collaboration and information sharing to better protect the public and brand owners from criminal counterfeit.

“The Chamber and businesses are proud to continue their alliance with law enforcement to prioritize solutions to eliminate counterfeit and pirated goods,” said Chamber Executive Vice President Tom Quaadman. “We are thrilled to expand this partnership with the participation of the very iconic National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball. Counterfeit products have real consequences, and consumers, whether they are sports fans, parents or small businesses, need to know that they are getting what they paid for. »

“Protecting intellectual property is a cornerstone of CBP’s trade mission and the results of our partnership with the Chamber thus far have been very exciting,” said John Leonard, Deputy Executive Assistant Commissioner of the Bureau of Commerce. . “We look forward to expanding this effort with the National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball and encourage sports fans to buy from trusted sources.”

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development estimates that the global trade in counterfeit and pirated goods generates more than $500 billion in illicit goods each year. In the past fiscal year, CBP seized more than 26,500 shipments containing millions of counterfeit items, including personal protective equipment, pharmaceuticals, COVID-19 test kits, electronics, clothing, shoes and jewelry.

The trade in counterfeit and pirated products threatens the U.S. innovation economy, the competitiveness of U.S. businesses, and the livelihoods of U.S. workers, and sometimes contains chemical compounds or additives that harm consumer health and safety . Proceeds from the sale of counterfeit products fund criminal organizations engaged in drug trafficking, arms smuggling, financial crime and other illicit activities.

CBP’s Fake Goods, Real Dangers initiative educates consumers about the dangers of buying counterfeit and pirated goods, and the Chamber and CBP have reached millions through joint television public awareness campaigns and on the radio to educate consumers on this issue. As part of this initiative, major retailers and customs officers are exploring data sharing as part of a pilot program.

Consumers can report suspected infringements through the e-Allegations online reporting system or by calling 1-800-BE-ALERT.

More information about intellectual property rights enforcement is available at CBP.gov and the Global Innovation Policy Center website.

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