AAFA and a coalition of industry groups is calling on Congress to include the SHOP SAFE Act and the INFORM Consumers Act in any final competitiveness legislation.
The groups collectively urge Congress to ensure that the final competitiveness legislative package includes critical provisions from the House-passed America COMPETES Act to protect the health and safety of American consumers by curbing the proliferation of counterfeit products promoted and sold online.
“These two pieces of bipartisan, bicameral legislation are critical as part of a much larger effort to curb counterfeits and protect consumers, workers, and brands,” said AAFA president and CEO Steve Lamar. “Counterfeit clothes, shoes and bags threaten the health and safety of our consumers. SHOP SAFE and INFORM shine a bright light on criminal counterfeiters and illegitimate sellers by providing consumers, law enforcement, platforms, and brands new tools and critical information to identify, avoid, and take down counterfeits. The legislation holds platforms accountable for promoting and selling dangerous counterfeits, the same way brick and mortar sellers are, while protecting small businesses or personal sales. Both SHOP SAFE and INFORM are needed just as brands need the partnership of BOTH platforms and law enforcement to stem the tidal wave of counterfeits promoted and sold on e-commerce and social media platforms.”
The letter follows a March study released by AAFA that found that counterfeit apparel, footwear, and accessories pose a threat to the health and safety of American consumers. The study showed that over one-third of the counterfeit products testing contained dangerous levels of arsenic, cadmium, phthalates, lead, and more. Even small amounts of these chemicals can pose significant health risks.
AAFA advocates for the protection of intellectual property rights (IPR); builds awareness of the dangers of counterfeits to businesses, consumers, workers, and the environment; and educates the industry on how to overcome shared challenges that cause lost sales and irreparable damage to brand reputation.