U.S. Announces Strategy Targeting Organized Piracy (STOP!)

October 8, 2004

Attorney General John Ashcroft, Commerce Secretary Don Evans, U.S. Trade Representative Robert B. Zoellick, and Under-Secretary of Homeland Security Asa Hutchinson announced a major new U.S. government initiative, the Strategy Targeting Organized Piracy (STOP!), to combat the billions of dollars in global trade in counterfeit and pirated goods on October 4 in Washington, D.C. In addition to strengthening enforcement mechanisms within the United States, the United States Government looks forward to working with Japan and other countries to identify practical, concrete actions we can take in concert to stop trade in fakes while facilitating legitimate commerce. Those actions could include cracking down on trade in pirated and counterfeit goods at our borders, conducting joint enforcement actions, and actively sharing information on the movement of illicit products.

The STOP initiative will focus on the following areas:

  • Reaching out to trading partners including Japan and building an international coalition to block bogus goods
  • Empowering small businesses to secure and enforce their rights
  • Stopping trade in fakes at America's borders
  • Raising the stakes for international pirates and counterfeiters
  • Working with the private sector to keep fakes out of global supply chains
  • Dismantling criminal enterprises that steal intellectual property.
For additional detailed information on the initiative, please see the STOP fact sheet that is available on the U.S. Trade Representative's Web site.

Interpol estimates that seven percent of global trade involves counterfeit goods. Trade in counterfeit goods not only affects companies but also consumers. Consumer safety worldwide is threatened when unregulated goods enter markets. For example, counterfeit auto parts such as brakes or windshields that do not meet basic safety standards are a danger to the general public. Given the Japanese Government's strong support for the protection of intellectual property rights as embodied in the Intellectual Property Strategic Program 2004, we look forward to working with Japanese officials in bilateral fora such as the U.S.-Japan Regulatory Reform Initiative, as well as in various multilateral fora such as the G8 and APEC. We believe that the STOP program will be an excellent vehicle for the United States and Japan to promote economic growth and protect the health and safety of our citizens.