AAFA Celebrates SHOP SAFE Act Introduction
September 26, 2023 | WASHINGTON, D.C.
The American Apparel & Footwear Association applauds introduction of the SHOP SAFE Act today by U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.)
"We appreciate the unwavering leadership and commitment of Senator Chris Coons and Senator Thom Tillis as they reintroduce the SHOP SAFE Act to address the abundance of dangerous counterfeits promoted and sold online. Counterfeits often contain product safety or environmental risks, and evade social responsibility and sustainability rules and requirements. With this bill, online platforms must meet the same requirements, and face the same accountability, as brick-and-mortar retailers when it comes to the sale of counterfeit or illicit products that harm American consumers," said AAFA president and CEO Steve Lamar. "Wearing a counterfeit item is not only potentially dangerous with chemicals or heavy metals, but it also mis-aligns with the moral values a consumer holds, including national and financial security risks helping fuel organized crime around the world. Brands invest considerable resources, and devote entire teams, to protect their brand identities and fight against consumer deception while meeting sustainability benchmarks, conducting in-depth consumer-safety tests, protecting their workers from harm, and tracing their supply chains to ensure brand integrity. Meanwhile, counterfeiters ignore these basic steps and exploit their own lack of due diligence to amass a greater profit. It is high time Congress approves the SHOP SAFE Act to combat the sale of unsafe counterfeit goods as the current status quo is untenable for brands and dangerous for consumers. Consumer safety is a bipartisan issue, and we're glad to see ongoing bipartisan support in this area."
Once enacted, the SHOP SAFE Act will require platforms to engage in best practices for screening and vetting sellers and goods, address repeat counterfeiter sellers, and ensure that consumers have relevant information available to them, or be held liable for the sale of counterfeit and illicit products that harm consumers. This is complementary to the INFORM Consumers Act, which took effect on June 27 of this year and requires online marketplaces to collect, verify, and disclose certain information about “high-volume third-party sellers.” Together, these policies will begin to stem the influx of illicit products and safeguard consumers from the alarming dangers of counterfeits that extend across industries. AAFA’s 2022 counterfeit study found 17 out of the 47 products tested failed to comply with U.S. product safety standards, introducing dangerous levels of arsenic, cadmium, phthalates, lead, and more that have been shown to cause adverse health outcomes.