WASHINGTON, D.C. – August 1, 2023 – The American Apparel & Footwear Association — a champion of safe workplaces, consumer protection, and brand protection — thanked Senator Chris Coons and Senator Charles E. Grassley for recognizing August as ‘‘National Anti-Counterfeiting and Consumer Education and Awareness Month.” This calls crucial attention to the importance of trademarks in the economy and the role of trademarks in protecting consumer safety.
“Through better education and more effective public policy, we must all work to combat counterfeiting. The seemingly insatiable appetite for fake goods, combined with the relative ease through which these knockoffs are found on third party marketplaces, means more Americans than ever before are exposed to dangerous and irresponsibly produced goods. AAFA and our brands continue to work alongside Congress, the U.S. Trade Representative, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and other partner agencies as we aim to stem the growing problems from such illicit products. AAFA appreciates the constructive dialogue and tireless contributions of our Brand Protection Council members as we champion American innovation and brand protection, consumer safety, worker safety, and responsible product manufacturing,” said AAFA President and CEO Steve Lamar.
On July 27, Congress posted S.Res.325 — a resolution designating the month of August as “National Anti-Counterfeiting and Consumer Education and Awareness Month.” In particular, this resolution emphasizes:
- The importance of public awareness.
- The need to “safeguard consumers and businesses from unsafe and unreliable products that, through illicit activity, threaten intellectual property rights, the economic market, and even the health and well-being of consumers.”
- The growth of both global commerce and electronic commerce and ever-evolving deceptive tactics, as a means to accelerate the problem.
AAFA also applauds Senator Chris Coons for remarks on July 26 – during the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property (transcript, video) – where he stated, “… I’m planning to soon reintroduce, along with Senator Tillis, the SHOP SAFE Act to protect consumers from harmful counterfeit goods sold online…”
AAFA member products – apparel, footwear, and related goods – continually remain at the top of the counterfeit items seized by CBP year after year. The sale of counterfeit clothes, shoes, and travel goods not only hurts U.S. companies, but the millions of American workers they employ.
AAFA is an outspoken advocate for the proposed SHOP SAFE legislation; in addition to the recently enacted INFORM Consumers Act, as the association strives to stem the influx of illicit products and educate about the alarming dangers of counterfeits that extend across industries.