Amazon has responded to the Trump administration's decision to add five of Amazon's international domains, including sites in Germany, the U.K., France, India, and Canada, to a "notorious markets" register, claiming that the action was politically motivated.
According to Amazon, the move was influenced by the administration's "personal vendetta against Amazon." The e-commerce giant also claimed that including the Amazon sites ignores the company's efforts to prevent non-legitimate sales.
“We strongly disagree with the characterization of Amazon in this USTR report," an Amazon spokesperson told FashionNetwork.com. "Amazon makes significant investments in proactive technologies and processes to detect and stop bad actors and potentially counterfeit products from being sold in our stores. In 2019 alone, we invested over $500 million and have more than 8,000 employees protecting our store from fraud and abuse. We also stopped over 2.5 million suspected bad actors from opening Amazon selling accounts before they published a single listing for sale, blocking more than 6 billion suspected bad listings before they were published to our stores."
"More than 99.9% of pages viewed by customers on Amazon have never had a report of counterfeit, and this is a testament to our continued innovation, collaboration, and commitment to fighting counterfeit. We also work closely with law enforcement agencies and are reporting all confirmed counterfeiters to help them build stronger criminal cases. We are an active, engaged stakeholder in the fight against counterfeit, and we call on lawmakers to increase funding and resources for law enforcement agencies so we can hold the real criminals accountable—the current ramifications for counterfeiting are too weak."
The addition of the Amazon sites to the report marks the first time that a U.S. company's overseas operations have been included. Although the list has no legal ramifications, being listed casts a negative light on the companies included.
The U.S. trade representative's office claimed that the sites facilitated the sale of counterfeit products and other intellectual property violations. The office also said that the addition of the Amazon sites was the result of complaints from U.S. businesses, who claimed that they were sold fake goods, that the sites didn’t provide clear information about sellers and that the process to remove platforms selling counterfeit goods was “lengthy and burdensome."
President Donald Trump has been publicly hostile toward Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, who also owns the Washington Post, and his businesses on multiple occasions. At different times across several years, Trump has made statements via Twitter claiming that Bezos was not paying Washington Post employees enough and that Amazon does not pay enough taxes.
The unfavorable action against Amazon comes at a time when the company is already facing pressure for its conduct during the Covid-19 pandemic. The company, which has been inundated with orders since the outbreak began, has been on the receiving end of multiple reports that claim workers are worried the company is not informing them of positive Covid-19 cases among their coworkers.
In addition, the company has been publicly blasted for firing one New York worker, who led a protest over workplace safety during the pandemic - and who, according to Amazon, was fired for violating a paid quarantine leave - as well as firing two tech workers who openly criticized the company's climate policies and warehouse safety conditions.