Industry Groups Urge Congress to Modernize Consumer Protection Laws
INFORM Consumers Act Critical to Fighting Counterfeits, Retail Crime
Washington, DC - Today five diverse industry groups – the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), the Business Roundtable (BRT), National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), National Retail Federation (NRF), and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce – jointly sent a letter to Congressional leadership expressing support for the inclusion of the Integrity, Notification, and Fairness in Online Retail Marketplaces for Consumers Act (INFORM Consumers Act) in the final version of the Bipartisan Innovation Act.
The INFORM Consumers Act is bipartisan legislation critical to fighting both dangerous counterfeit products and tackling organized criminal networks. The letter notes counterfeit goods – 90% of which flow into the U.S. from China – and organized retail crime through sophisticated criminal networks puts consumers, employees, and communities at risk. The economic harm is equally alarming, with the latest study showing a loss of $69 billion in sales and over 658,000 jobs from organized retail crime and a loss of nearly $131 billion and 325,000 jobs from fake and counterfeit goods. Most alarming, Homeland Security Investigations has connected this illicit activity to human trafficking, narcotics, gun smuggling and other serious criminal activity.
“The impact of counterfeit goods and organized retail crime on the U.S. economy and on businesses and consumers is now too harmful to ignore. The INFORM Consumers Act is a commonsense, bipartisan solution that would ensure criminals no longer have a free pass to conduct their illicit business anonymously online,” said RILA Senior Executive Vice President, Public Affairs Michael Hanson. “We urge lawmakers to seize this opportunity to protect American families, communities, employees, and consumers and include INFORM in the final version of the Bipartisan Innovation Act.”
“Manufacturers, particularly small manufacturers, continue to battle a rising tide of counterfeit products sold online, harming their ability to grow, hire and invest while also putting their customers at risk. That is why the NAM has been working with Congress to advance practical legislative solutions, such as the INFORM Consumers Act, that provide critical tools for manufacturers to target and stop bad actors. We urge Congress to include these solutions in this final China competition bill,” said Chris Netram, Managing VP, Tax and Domestic Economic Policy, NAM.
“The rise in organized retail crime, along with the increase in violence associated with these crimes, threatens the safety of retail employees, customers and the communities they serve,” NRF Senior Vice President of Government Relations David French said. “It is time for Congress to pass the INFORM Consumers Act, which has strong bipartisan support, and is a critical part of the solution to prevent the sale of stolen goods online.”
“The harms from organized retail crime to consumers, employees and businesses are too large to ignore,” said U.S. Chamber Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer Neil Bradley. “The Chamber supports a two-track approach: enhancing prosecutorial tools at the state and local level, and at the federal level enacting INFORM to make it harder for criminal networks to re-sell stolen or counterfeit goods.”
The full letter can be viewed here.