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Chamber Applauds House Passage of Anti-Counterfeiting Bill

Monday, March 6, 2006 - 7:00pm

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The United States Chamber of Commerce applauded today's House passage of H.R. 32, the Stop Counterfeiting in Manufactured Goods Act.

"Passage of this bill is an important step in the global fight against counterfeiting and piracy," said Bruce Josten, Chamber executive vice president for Government Affairs. "The bill closes some glaring loopholes in current trademark law and provides much-needed tools to enhance criminal enforcement efforts."

H.R. 32 will strengthen anti-counterfeiting laws by prohibiting the trafficking in counterfeit labels, patches, stickers, hangtags, or medallions that are unattached to goods. The bill will make the forfeiture and destruction of counterfeit goods mandatory, as well as the assets used to produce, package, and distribute them. The bill also requires the forfeiture of property and assets derived from counterfeiting. H.R. 32 passed the Senate on February 16 and will now go to the President for his signature.

Today's vote comes as the Chamber, along with the Coalition Against Counterfeiting and Piracy, is pursuing Anti-Counterfeiting and Piracy Awareness Week to raise overall awareness of the impact that counterfeiting and piracy have on businesses, consumers, and the economy. The Chamber has gathered business leaders to meet with lawmakers and is running ads all week that highlight the risk that counterfeit goods have on Americans' health and safety in Capitol Hill publications.

"Counterfeiting and piracy impact every industry," said David Hirschmann, Chamber senior vice president. "No product is safe. This problem costs hundreds of thousands of American jobs, damages our economy, and threatens consumer health and safety. It's fake children's toys, fake batteries in smoke detectors, fake brake pads on cars, even fake lifesaving drugs. The Chamber will continue to work to further strengthen regulation and enforcement against the manufacture and trafficking of counterfeited goods."

The U.S. Chamber is the world's largest business federation representing more than
3 million businesses and organizations of every size, sector and region.

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