Trump signs memo to stem counterfeit goods trafficking

President TrumpDonald TrumpProject Veritas surveilled government officials to expose anti-Trump sentiments: report Cheney: Fox News has 'a particular obligation' to refute election fraud claims The Memo: What now for anti-Trump Republicans? MORE on Wednesday signed a memorandum that seeks to crack down on the sale of counterfeit or pirated goods.

“Third-party intermediaries, including online third party marketplaces, carriers, customs brokers, payment providers, vendors, and others involved in international transactions, can all be beneficial partners in combating trafficking in counterfeit and pirated goods,” the memo states. “In order to build on cooperative efforts that are already underway with such partners, a coordinated approach by the Federal Government, including its law enforcement agencies, and private industry is needed.”


The memorandum of understanding specifically targets the trafficking of such goods through third-party online marketplaces such as eBay, Amazon, and Alibaba, China’s top e-commerce marketplace, Peter Navarro, director of the White House National Trade Council, told reporters, according to the Associated Press.

"This is a warning shot across the bow that it is your job to police these matters, and if you won't clean it up the government will," Navarro said. Last year, he said, Government Accountability Office investigators bought brand-name goods from popular online retailers and found 40 percent were counterfeit, according to the AP.

Trump has been a frequent critic of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and recently mocked him over reports of an extramarital affair in the National Enquirer, which Bezos has since accused of extorting him. Navarro told reporters the memo was unrelated to either this personal history or ongoing trade talks between the U.S. and China.