US blacklists Amazon's websites in UK, Germany, France, India and Canada

Photo: DAVID BECKER/AFP via Getty Images
Photo: DAVID BECKER/AFP via Getty Images

The US government has placed five of Amazon’s (AMZN) foreign websites on a blacklist.

President Donald Trump’s administration put the e-commerce giant’s platforms in the UK, Germany, France, India, and Canada on a “notorious markets” register because it claims the sites facilitated the sale of counterfeit and pirated products.

The list does not carry any legal weight but it puts the companies included on it in the spotlight.

“The Trump Administration is committed to holding intellectual property rights violators accountable and to ensuring that American innovators and creators have a full and fair opportunity to use and profit from their work,” said US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in a statement.

“Over the last year, USTR has secured strong and enforceable obligations on intellectual property in our historic agreements with China, Canada, and Mexico. The two reports issued today illustrate the Administration’s commitment to protecting intellectual property rights and combatting counterfeiting and piracy in online and physical markets.”

The US said it added the Amazon sites as a result of complaints from US businesses over the sale of fake goods. The reports released by the Trump administration cites business complaints which claim the Amazon sites didn’t provide clear information about sellers and that the process to remove platforms selling counterfeit goods was “lengthy and burdensome.”

Amazon said in a statement that the move to put the foreign websites on the register was a “purely political act is another example of the administration using the US government to advance a personal vendetta against Amazon.

The statement adds “we are an active, engaged stakeholder in the fight against counterfeit” and highlighted how it made significant investments in technology to stop counterfeit products from being sold on its platforms and had even blocked more than 6 billion bad listings before they were published to the platform in 2019.

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