Amazon is back in the spotlight.
Just weeks after the European Commission said it has tentatively begun an antitrust probe into the way the e-commerce giant uses data, a retail trade body has accused Amazon of facilitating the sale of counterfeit goods.
The American Apparel & Footwear Association has included Amazon’s sites in the U.K., Canada and Germany in its submission to the United States Trade Representative, identifying foreign markets that facilitate the sale of counterfeits.
The submission was part of USTR’s yearly review of foreign physical and online marketplaces that reportedly engage in and facilitate substantial copyright piracy and trademark counterfeiting.
“Amazon has been a leader of, and has made valuable contributions to, the future of retail. We believe Amazon can, and should, be a leader in the fight against counterfeits,” said Rick Helfenbein, president and chief executive officer of the AAFA.
“We think it is reasonable to expect leading e-commerce giants to commit to safeguarding American intellectual property. Counterfeiters continue to develop new ways to sell their illegal goods and we hope that the companies listed in our submission will be vigilant in their efforts to prevent illicit activities taking place,” he added.
In addition to submitting these comments, the AAFA added that it was concerned with President Trump’s administration’s continued use of “punitive” tariffs on legitimate goods imported to the U.S.
It believes that while these tariffs have been imposed to counter intellectual property theft and forced technology transfer, they will instead incentivize the sale of counterfeit products, as those goods would not be charged this added tax.
The association’s comments come not long after the U.S. and China unleashed another round of tariffs on each other as the trade dispute between the two superpowers shows no sign of abating.
An Amazon spokesperson said: “We invest tremendous resources to protect our marketplace from inauthentic goods and will continue to work with AAFA and its members to protect their intellectual property and our customers.”