05 January 2005 22:50 [Source: ICIS news]
WASHINGTON (CNI)--The US Chamber of Commerce (USCoC) said Wednesday it will put major emphasis this year on fighting product counterfeiting and piracy worldwide, saying the problem has become “a very serious matter.”
Thomas Donohue, USCoC president and chief executive, told a press conference here today that protecting intellectual property rights (IPR) will draw even greater USCoC attention this year.
Donohue said that in addition to billions of dollars being lost by legitimate manufacturers and traders, “American product ingenuity and even our safety are at stake” in the battle against counterfeiting and product piracy. He said IPR violations raise safety concerns because many of the products now being pirated on a wholesale basis include such life-critical items as pharmaceuticals and aircraft parts.
“This is getting to be a $750bn [Euro568bn] problem,” Donohue said, citing worldwide business losses due to counterfeiting and piracy. “Of those losses,” he said, “about one-third are being incurred by US manufacturers.”
Donohue said the chamber is leading “a major program involving governments, businesses, industry groups and law enforcement agencies in the ?xml:namespace>
He said the chamber will champion a major domestic education and enforcement program to alert consumers and business purchasers to the dangers of counterfeit products. In addition, “we have already begun campaigns in
Heightened USCoC attention to the IPR issue comes in the wake of the inaugural meeting in December in
Donohue said the chamber’s focus on IPR protection is part of a “broader purpose behind our agenda this year.”
“We must recognize,” Donohue cautioned, “that our competitive position is being challenged as never before. The rapidly developing economies of
To advance US economic interests, the USCoC also announced today initiatives to win major federal legislative objectives on energy, legal reform and transportation. The chamber also previewed its annual
The Washington, DC-based USCoC is the world’s largest business federation and includes many chemical and plastics firms among its 3m member companies.
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