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The International Chamber of Commerce strongly endorses the joint EU-US action strategy on counterfeiting and piracy as a major step forward in the fight against the galloping global trade in these illicit goods.

Created by the EU-US Intellectual Property Rights Working Group and announced on the eve of the EU-US summit in Vienna last month, the plan is a welcome indication of political will to rein in counterfeiting and piracy. The strategy lays out a number of measures for closer EU-US cooperation on sharing data, customs and border control, and striking public-private partnerships to safeguard intellectual property.

“Partnerships with industry will be an essential element for the success of this joint plan. We have a better chance of turning back the advancing tide of counterfeiting and piracy if business and government act together,” said ICC Secretary General Guy Sebban. “Through our BASCAP initiative, ICC has already put in place a cross-sectoral, global platform to mobilize business to the challenge, and we stand ready to help the joint task force.”

Business is called upon to lend its expertise to the Working Group in a number of key areas, including sharing information, supporting law enforcement, and helping to develop networks in other countries such as China and Russia.

Intellectual property theft has become a massive problem, affecting virtually all sectors and all regions of the globe at an annual cost of approximately $650 billion. In addition to robbing governments of tax revenues and creators and inventors of the fruits of their labors, counterfeiting and piracy pose large risks to health and safety and are linked to highly sophisticated organized crime networks.

ICC established Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP) to raise public and political awareness of the social and economic consequences of counterfeiting and piracy. BASCAP publishes free of charge daily and quarterly reports on enforcement incidents, protection strategies, and industry and political activity.

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