The Auto Care Association has submitted comments 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.
“Although Alibaba had been removed from the Notorious Markets list in recognition of efforts to address counterfeit activities,” said Bill Hanvey, president and CEO, Auto Care Association, “we remain very concerned with the drastic amount of counterfeit automotive products sold on these sites daily and the difficulty our members are experiencing in obtaining enforcement.”
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.
Counterfeit auto parts represent a significant danger to the safety and welfare of the general public, and also pose a significant economic threat to the auto care industry. 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.