Alston, UK - March 25, 2011: A cardboard packaging box with the printed logo of Amazon.fr, the online retail company.Alston, UK - March 25, 2011: A cardboard packaging box with the printed logo of Amazon.fr, the online retail company.
Alston, UK – March 25, 2011: A cardboard packaging box with the printed logo of Amazon.fr, the online retail company.

The Trump administration has placed some of Amazon’s foreign sites on its “Notorious Markets” list — a list of marketplaces known for counterfeit and pirated goods.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The U.S. Trade Representative’s office released the annual list on Wednesday morning, saying the goal is to motivate companies and governments to take steps to curb piracy and counterfeiting. The list includes 38 online markets and 34 physical markets, though USTR notes the list is not exhaustive.” data-reactid=”24″>The U.S. Trade Representative’s office released the annual list on Wednesday morning, saying the goal is to motivate companies and governments to take steps to curb piracy and counterfeiting. The list includes 38 online markets and 34 physical markets, though USTR notes the list is not exhaustive.

USTR added Amazon’s platforms in Canada, Germany, France, India and the United Kingdom to the list, citing concerns that “…seller information displayed by Amazon is often misleading such that it is difficult for consumers and right holders alike to determine who is selling the goods and that anyone can become a seller on Amazon with too much ease because Amazon does not sufficiently vet sellers on its platforms.”

A senior USTR official said stakeholders also reported Amazon’s process of removing counterfeit goods is “lengthy and burdensome.”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The American Apparel &amp; Footwear Association (AAFA) had urged&nbsp;USTR to add the five Amazon sites to the list. The Wall Street Journal first reported the administration was considering the move last year.” data-reactid=”27″>The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) had urged USTR to add the five Amazon sites to the list. The Wall Street Journal first reported the administration was considering the move last year.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Amazon (AMZN) pushed back against AAFA’s allegations, saying it had “zero tolerance” for counterfeits.” data-reactid=”28″>Amazon (AMZN) pushed back against AAFA’s allegations, saying it had “zero tolerance” for counterfeits.

In a statement on Wednesday, AAFA said it welcomed the report — though it did not specifically mention the decision to include Amazon.

“It is essential that both domestic and worldwide marketplaces, and the countries that house them, implement effective and proactive measures to safeguard intellectual property to protect consumers, workers, and their families. This is especially the case during the COVID-19 crisis, when more Americans than ever have made online purchases, which can unknowingly expose them to counterfeits sold on unsafe marketplaces,” said Steve Lamar, AAFA president and CEO.

The USTR said it heard from stakeholders who wanted Amazon to put more resources toward making brand protection programs “scalable, transparent and most importantly, effective.” The USTR encouraged companies on the list to take steps to address piracy and counterfeiting.

FILE - In this file photo dated Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, post trucks leaves the Amazon Logistic Center in Rheinberg, Germany. Germany's antitrust agency said Thursday Nov. 29, 2018, it has begun an investigation into online retailer Amazon over complaints that it's abusing its dominant position to the detriment of other sellers using its platform. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, FILE)FILE - In this file photo dated Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, post trucks leaves the Amazon Logistic Center in Rheinberg, Germany. Germany's antitrust agency said Thursday Nov. 29, 2018, it has begun an investigation into online retailer Amazon over complaints that it's abusing its dominant position to the detriment of other sellers using its platform. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, FILE)
Nov. 14, 2018, post trucks leaves the Amazon Logistic Center in Rheinberg, Germany. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, FILE)

“In absence of good faith efforts, responsible government authorities should investigate reports of piracy and counterfeiting in these and similar markets and pursue appropriate action against such markets and their owners and operators,” the report said.

The decision to include a U.S. company’s foreign operations on the list is significant. The list typically targets foreign countries and companies. The USTR did not request comments about U.S.-based platforms, but warned that could eventually be a possibility.

“We’re considering seeking more information regarding e-commerce platforms, including those that are based in the United States in future reviews,” said a senior USTR official.

The USTR said this year’s review also revealed a growing concern about counterfeit goods on social media and said it would further study the issue.

“Platforms can begin to address these concerns by establishing industry-standard IP enforcement policies, increasing transparency and collaboration with right holders to quickly address complaints, and working with law enforcement to identify IP violators,” the report said.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Jessica Smith is a reporter for Yahoo Finance based in Washington, D.C. Follow her on Twitter at&nbsp;@JessicaASmith8.” data-reactid=”48″>Jessica Smith is a reporter for Yahoo Finance based in Washington, D.C. Follow her on Twitter at @JessicaASmith8.

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