New legislation to plug loopholes in US anti-counterfeiting laws was introduced yesterday.

S 1699 - the Stop Counterfeiting in Manufactured Goods Act - aims to provide additional tools for US law enforcement officials to stop the trafficking of counterfeit goods in the country.

Among other things, the legislation will criminalise the trafficking of counterfeit packaging, hangtags, and labels, and will authorise the seizure of equipment used to make counterfeit articles. 

Counterpart legislation has already passed the House.

American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) president and CEO Kevin M Burke, said the Act "sets an important precedent that can be replicated in future trade agreements to ensure our foreign partners are stepping up their enforcement efforts as well."
 
AAFA says that in the past 5 years, its members and Customs officials have seized millions of counterfeit clothes and shoes. AAFA has been active in anti-counterfeit initiatives and is a member of the Coalition Against Counterfeiting and Piracy.
 
AAFA is staging a two-day seminar in New York in mid-November - titled "Knock It Off" - to highlight US and international anti-counterfeit activities and initiatives on the part of the private sector and the government.