The US Senate late last week confirmed Victoria Espinel as the nation's first ever Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator or 'copyright czar'.

In the new post Espinel will oversee the enforcement of copyright-related laws, and represent US intellectual property interests abroad.

Previously, she headed the US Trade Representative (USTR) intellectual property office, which monitored intellectual property enforcement efforts around the world. 

Her confirmation was hailed by the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA), whose president and CEO Kevin Burke said: "Ms Espinel's vast experience dealing with intellectual property issues will provide President Obama with the necessary knowledge to push forward important enforcement efforts needed to fight the growing prevalence of counterfeit products crossing our borders."

Each year, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) seizes more counterfeit apparel, footwear, and fashion accessory products than any other good imported into the United States. 

In 2008, fake footwear, apparel, and fashion accessories accounted for more than 58% of all goods confiscated by CBP, Burke said.