Knock-off goods cost threaten job creation

The International Chamber of Commerce released a report at the 6th Global Congress on Combating Counterfeiting and Piracy on last week that reported the global economic and social impacts of counterfeiting and piracy will reach $1.7 trillion by 2015 and put 2.5 million legitimate jobs at risk each yea

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The International Chamber of Commerce released a report at the 6th Global Congress on Combating Counterfeiting and Piracy on last week that reported the global economic and social impacts of counterfeiting and piracy will reach $1.7 trillion by 2015 and put 2.5 million legitimate jobs at risk each year.? 

The report updates a 2008 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development report that showed more than $250 billion in counterfeit and pirated goods move through international trade alone. The new ICC study also examines additional impacts not quantified in the OECD report. These include the value of domestically produced and consumed counterfeit products, the value of digital piracy, and the negative impacts on society, governments and consumers.?

“By filling in the gaps left by the OECD, we have been able to paint a more comprehensive picture of the negative economic and social impacts of counterfeiting and piracy,” said Jeffrey Hardy, coordinator of the ICC Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP) initiative, in a statement.? 

The report shows that based on 2008 data, the total global economic and social impacts of counterfeit and pirated products are as much as $775 billion every year. This includes impacts of lost tax revenue and higher government spending on law enforcement and health care. The figure is estimated to more than double to $1.7 trillion by 2015, due in part to rapid increases in physical counterfeiting and piracy as measured by reported customs seizures and greater worldwide access to high speed Internet and mobile technologies, the report noted.

The report also indicates that international trade in fakes accounts for more than half of counterfeiting and piracy, and could grow to as much as $960 billion by 2015. Domestic production and consumption will account for between $370 billion and $570 billion, and digitally pirated music, movies and software for as much as $240 billion in 2015.? 

Furthermore, the report highlights that counterfeiters and pirates operate outside the law, which makes estimating the extent of counterfeiting and piracy and the harm these activities cause “extremely challenging.”? 

“No one report or approach will yield a complete picture or provide all the answers but we’ve attempted to examine the measurement of this illegal activity in a more comprehensive way than has been done to date, and to develop methodologies that others can now use for more completely and accurately estimating the economic and social impacts of counterfeiting and piracy,” said Damien O’Flaherty, senior associate at Frontier Economics, the consulting firm that produced the report.? 

To read the full report, visit: http://www.iccwbo.org/bascap/index.html?id=40991


About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

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