AAFA Applauds Inclusion of Critical Consumer and IP Protections in New America Competes Act

January 26, 2022 | WASHINGTON, D.C.

The American Apparel & Footwear Association applauds the U.S. House of Representatives for its inclusion of both the SHOP SAFE Act  and the INFORM Consumers Act in the proposed amendment to the America Competes in Manufacturing, Pre-Eminence in Technology, and Economic Strength Act (America Competes Act). These initiatives are crucial as Americans increasingly shop on e-commerce platforms, during COVID-19 and beyond.
“AAFA will not relent in sounding the alarm around the tools we need to prevent the sale of dangerous counterfeit apparel, footwear, and accessories and protect America’s intellectual property. Counterfeit apparel, footwear, and accessories threaten the health and safety of consumers by exposing them to potentially harmful chemicals or footwear that can fall apart causing trip and fall hazards and by exposing their financial information to criminals. They can threaten the health and safety of the workers who make them and the communities where they are made with poor, unsafe working conditions, and more,” said AAFA president and CEO Steve Lamar.
“We are pleased to see language in this bill that will increase marketplace transparency and accountability, modernize consumer protection laws, hold online marketplaces accountable for selling or promoting counterfeit products, and remove seller anonymity to establish basic accountability measures that have been missing for far too long.
"With passage of this Act, Congress will make great strides in enabling consumers to shop safely online by informing consumers about who they are buying from, shielding consumers from dangerous and unsafe products, and preventing consumers from having their financial data stolen by criminals. Just as important, these measures will protect a variety of American brands and the millions of American jobs they create and make it harder for criminals to profit from illicit actions.

"Thank you to Representatives Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), 'Hank' Johnson, Jr. (D-GA), Darrell Issa (R-CA), Ben Cline (R-VA), Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), and Gus Bilirakis (FL-12) for their leadership on this important issue."
AAFA has been a constant champion of the SHOP SAFE Act and the INFORM Consumers Act. AAFA is a voice of the industry in protecting intellectual property, including our 2021 recommendations to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office regarding secondary trademark infringement liability through ecommerce and our 2021 comments to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative as part of the Notorious Markets process. AAFA has also developed several consumer-facing materials to highlight the ubiquitous problem of counterfeit sales, including mainstream social media platforms.