The U.S. has placed five of Amazon’s foreign websites on a blacklist as these sites facilitated the sale of counterfeit and pirated products.
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said it has added Amazon’s websites in Canada, France, Germany, India, and the UK to its list of ‘notorious markets‘ for counterfeiting and piracy.
According to the USTR, one submission by U.S. right holders specifically highlighted examples of the challenges they face with alleged high levels of counterfeit goods on the e-commerce platforms.
The right holders expressed concern over the misleading seller information displayed by Amazon and alleged that the company does not sufficiently vet sellers on its platforms.
The right holders also noted that Amazon’s counterfeit removal processes can be “lengthy and burdensome,” even for those who are enrolled in Amazon’s brand protection programs.
However, Amazon responded to the move by saying it “strongly disagreed” with the characterization of the company in the USTR report.
“This purely political act is another example of the Administration’s notorious pattern of using the U.S. government to advance a personal vendetta against Amazon,” the e-commerce giant said in a statement.
Amazon said that in 2019 alone, it invested over $500 million and had more than 8,000 employees protecting its store from fraud and abuse.
The company claimed it stopped over 2.5 million ‘suspected bad actors’ from opening Amazon selling accounts before they published a single listing for sale. It has also blocked more than 6 billion suspected bad listings before they were published to Amazon’s stores.
U.S. President Donald Trump has repeatedly clashed with Amazon and its founder Jeff Bezos in the past. Bezos also owns the Washington Post, which has been critical about Trump.
Last year, Amazon filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Defense for awarding the Pentagon’s coveted multi-billion-dollar cloud contract to Microsoft. Amazon was seen as a top contender for the Pentagon’s multi-billion dollar cloud-computing contract.
Amazon had alleged that Trump influenced the Defense Department’s decision as the competing bids from Microsoft and Amazon for the cloud-computing project were considered.
Amazon claimed that Trump denied the contract to the company due to his personal differences with Bezos, and his dislike for the Washington Post.
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