Intellectual Property Rights (June 2006)
Counterfeiting and piracy are a rapidly growing problem for American companies, costing the U.S. economy between US$ 200 billion and US$ 250 billion a year. American consumers, who believe they are buying a trusted American brand, and are often unwittingly purchasing dangerous and defective products, such as fake pharmaceutical drugs, fake auto parts, and fake electrical products and batteries.
Piracy and counterfeiting in Asia cost the U.S. economy billions of dollars and thousands of jobs each year. Pirated software, DVDs, CDs, electronic equipment, pharmaceutical products and car parts account for an estimated 5%-7% of world trade. These illicit products not only hurt the U.S. economy and stifle innovation, but many pirated and counterfeited products also affect public health and safety.
In a world of intense competition for foreign investment, the ability of countries in Asia to attract and retain foreign investment often depends on how well they protect the intellectual property rights of investors. Many countries in the region have enacted legislation criminalizing piracy and counterfeiting, but enforcement often remains weak.
Individual U.S. companies and industries have tried to win this battle on their own. Some of these efforts have produced positive results, but in many countries in the region business is still losing the larger war.
As a result, the American Chambers of Commerce in Asia (APCAC)—working with the US Chamber of Commerce—has launched initiatives to stem the growing threat of counterfeiting and piracy. We are working with manufacturers, retailers and law enforcement officials to disrupt counterfeiting networks and stop pirates from operating their illegal business. We are educating lawmakers, business leaders and the media about the threats of piracy. We are securing business supply chains by toughening existing laws and increasing enforcement efforts. We are working with key governments like those in China, India, Thailand and Korea to strengthen intellectual property protection by cooperating to build enforcement capacity, improve public advocacy and boost consumer awareness. In the coming year, we will also extend our efforts in other critical markets, including Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines.
What is Being Done
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Coalition Against Counterfeiting and Piracy have released recommendations on steps companies can take to protect their supply chains from counterfeiters and modern-day pirates. The U.S. Chamber is working with government and industry on a global scale to help thwart this growing threat. Read more …
What More Needs to be Done
APCAC urges the U.S. government to:
APCAC, individual chambers and the US Chamber will:
The American Chamber of Commerce in New Zealand exists to promote two-way trade and investment relationships primarily between New Zealand and the United States and also within the Asia-Pacific region.