USA. President praises Marine Manufacturers for passage of Anti-Counterfeiting Bill Print E-mail
Sunday, 19 March 2006
Duncan Neasham, NMMA:The nation’s largest recreational marine trade association praised President Bush for singing into law on Thursday March 16 H.R. 32, the Stop Counterfeiting in Manufactured Goods Act. The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), as part of the Coalition Against Counterfeiting and Piracy, made passage of the anti-counterfeiting legislation a top legislative priority after several member companies were hit hard by counterfeit products, highlighting the need to stem the growing tide of counterfeiting and piracy.

“Counterfeiting costs our country hundreds of billion dollars a year. It has got a lot of harmful effects in our economy. Counterfeiting hurts businesses. They lose the right to profit from their innovation. Counterfeiting hurts workers, because counterfeiting undercuts honest competition, rewards illegal competitors,” said President Bush in remarks before the White House bill signing ceremony. “Counterfeiting hurts consumers, as fake products expose our people to serious health and safety risks.”

The bill closes an important loophole in current U.S. law and will allow authorities to seize counterfeit goods and the equipment used to make them, effectively putting counterfeiters out of business. Strengthening the U.S. criminal code has been a top priority for the nation’s largest recreational marine trade association, the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA). Counterfeit goods, or fakes, account for up to seven percent of global trade, some $500 billion a year. The past few years have seen a surge in counterfeit products produced in China, the number one source for counterfeit goods intercepted at U.S. borders.

“The size of the threat from counterfeiting to manufacturers is enormous and shouldn’t be ignored. The signing of this legislation into law in an important step to protect our consumers and manufacturers from that threat,” said Monita Fontaine, NMMA Vice President of Government Relations, who was invited to the signing ceremony in recognition of NMMA’s work on behalf of the bill. “Combating the ill affects of counterfeiting is a top priority for NMMA, and we will now work to ensure that there is proper coordination to enforce this new law and to seek these same levels of protections in future trade agreements.”

Counterfeit products are not only detrimental to manufacturers whose products are copied as knock-offs, but they pose a danger to consumers because the counterfeit products typically are made with inferior craftsmanship, contain inferior materials and serious design flaws, and lack the sufficient quality assurance testing found in the marine manufacturing industry, where product quality is a top priority because of the rigorous and challenging nature of the marine environment. When fake products fail to perform, it damages the reputation of the manufacturer, whose products were counterfeited, resulting in a further loss of sales and jobs.

“I want to thank all those who helped get this bill passed for being here today. I want to thank the consumer protection groups who have joined us, as well.” President Bush said to supporters of the legislation at the White House bill signing ceremony. “Thanks for your hard work on this important piece of legislation.”

Passage of H.R. 32 was one part of a multi-faceted strategy NMMA has undertaken to combat illegal counterfeiting. NMMA has also supported the Bush administration’s efforts to assist American manufacturers through its Strategy Targeting Organized Piracy (STOP), the most comprehensive initiative ever advanced to eliminate the criminal networks that traffic in counterfeits and fakes, and engaged the U.S. Coast Guard to develop a web site where marine manufacturers may report fake products.
Last Updated ( Sunday, 19 March 2006 )
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