The American apparel and footwear industry has commended the US Trade Representative (USTR) for its decision to re-list Chinese online retail giant Alibaba's Taobao platform as a "notorious market" for the continuation of its counterfeit selling. 

The designation is part of USTR's 2016 Special 301 Out of Cycle Review of Notorious Markets report, released on Wednesday (21 December).

"[This] action shines a renewed spotlight on the considerable concerns we and others continue to see on Alibaba platforms," says American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) CEO and president Rick Helfenbein. "In the coming year, we will work with our members, USTR and other government agencies, outside stakeholders, and Alibaba itself to seek sustained improvements that lead to the permanent removal of counterfeits from these online platforms."

USTR's Special 301 Report identifies physical and online marketplaces that promote the sale of counterfeit merchandise around the world. In 2015, USTR requested that Alibaba simplify processes for rights holders to register and request enforcement action, make good faith takedown procedures generally available, and reduce timelines for takedowns and issuing penalties for counterfeit sellers. Additionally, USTR referenced Alibaba's enforcement programme's lack of transparency.

In a letter to the office of the USTR in October, the AAFA, along with 17 additional industry organisations, pointed out that Alibaba has not accomplished what was requested in the 2015 Notorious Markets report.

Apparel industry calls for Alibaba counterfeit crackdown

In addition to Alibaba platforms, AAFA adds it identified a total of 118 marketplaces in this year's submission and rebuttal comments. A number of these additional marketplaces have been cited in the USTR report.