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MEMA, AASA Applaud USTR’s Strong Warning to Online Retailer Alibaba

Date: December 18, 2015

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – The Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) applauds the strong warning issued on Dec. 17 by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) to global online retailer Alibaba regarding the company’s enforcement system to combat sales of counterfeit goods on its websites.

The USTR issued its most explicit criticism and specific concerns to date about Alibaba’s websites as part of its annual Notorious Markets Report, which identifies marketplaces (physical and online) that sell or facilitate the sale of counterfeit products. In the report, Alibaba was cited more often any other market, and the USTR criticized its enforcement system as “too slow, difficult to use, and lacks transparency.”

“We are gratified by the USTR’s warning to Alibaba in the ‘Notorious Markets Report,’” said Steve Handschuh, MEMA president and chief executive officer. “Alibaba.com and its family of websites, including TaoBao.com and AliExpress.com, are the sites most commonly named by MEMA members as selling counterfeit auto parts.”

“This is an important first step in combatting the online sale of counterfeit auto parts, which pose a serious threat not only to motorists, but to the service professionals who may unknowingly install an inferior and potentially dangerous part on customers’ vehicles,” added Bill Long, president and chief operating officer of the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association, the light vehicle aftermarket division of MEMA. “MEMA and AASA will continue to push for government policies that assist suppliers to protect their brands against counterfeiters.”

MEMA has been actively engaged with the USTR throughout the update of its Notorious Markets Report, available here. On Nov. 19, MEMA submitted a letter to the USTR that specifically cited Alibaba.com and its family of websites including TaoBao.com and AliExpress.com. The full text of the MEMA USTR letter is available here

For more information on MEMA’s brand protection efforts, contact Catherine Boland of MEMA,cboland@mema.org.

About MEMA

The Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) represents more than 1,000 companies that manufacture components and systems for use in motor vehicles and equipment in the light vehicle and heavy-duty, on- and off-highway commercial vehicle markets for the original equipment and aftermarket industries. Motor vehicle component manufacturers are the nation’s largest manufacturing sector with a total employment impact of 3.62 million employees – for every direct job in the motor vehicle supplier industry, another five jobs are created. MEMA represents its members through four divisions: Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA), Heavy Duty Manufacturers Association (HDMA), Motor & Equipment Remanufacturers Association (MERA) and Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA). For more information on the motor vehicle component supplier industry, visit www.mema.org.

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