Cracking down on illicit luxury

Marketplace Staff Jun 20, 2006
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Cracking down on illicit luxury

Marketplace Staff Jun 20, 2006
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TESS VIGELAND: Trade officials from the European Union and the US are expected to sign a deal today that cracks down on counterfeit goods. That includes everything from Louis Vuitton bags and Rolex watches to pirated music and counterfeit medicines. The agreement focuses on China and Russia, but as Eric Niiler tells us, critics complain it lacks any real punch.


ERIC NIILER: US and European leaders say they will train customs officials and send anti-piracy teams to countries where the counterfeiting occurs. Nations that allow counterfeiting could lose out on foreign investment and trade. But Washington University’s Andrew Mertha says the agreement includes no new penalties.

ANDREW MERTHA: “In terms of the actual enforcement of intellectual property rights problem in these countries, I don’t see the effect as being particularly substantial.”

Mertha says the agreement does not add any new customs agents and is not part of a broader trade policy.

That kind of pressure will likely come from a case the US is bringing against China at the World Trade Organization.

President Bush leaves for Vienna this morning where he’ll review the counterfeiting pact at an EU summit tomorrow.

In Washington, I’m Eric Niiler for Marketplace

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