The Auto Care Association submitted comments Oct. 2 urging the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) to relist Alibaba and its family of e-commerce platforms, including Taobao and AliExpress, as notorious markets that facilitate the sale of counterfeit auto parts.
The letter was submitted as part of the USTR’s request for comments in identifying internet and physical markets based outside the United States that engage in copyright piracy and trademark counterfeiting for its annual Special 301 Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets Report.
“Despite Alibaba’s efforts to address the proliferation of counterfeit products, our members report that their brand protection tools and enforcement program have been unsatisfactory,” said Bill Hanvey, president and CEO, Auto Care Association. “Not only do counterfeit products threaten the U.S. economy, and impact our members’ sales and brand value, but counterfeit auto parts do not comply with any safety regulations and are a danger to the safety of consumers.”
The Auto Care Association submitted comments in response to member complaints regarding the proliferation of online supply chains based in China that allow the online distribution of counterfeit parts. These online B2B and e-commerce sites advertise branded counterfeit products for sale at rates that significantly undercut the margins of members’ original products. In its letter, the Auto Care Association outlined general principles that Alibaba should adopt to address the proliferation of counterfeit products on its various platforms.
The Auto Care Association commends the USTR’s efforts to combat piracy and counterfeiting. The association looks forward to continuing this dialogue with the USTR and representatives from the identified websites to protect and enforce intellectual property rights.