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Why Canada is a Haven for Knock-Off Goods

Posted April 05, 2017

Under Economic Issues, International Trade Issues


(Catherine McIntyre – Maclean’s)

Donald Trump issued an executive order on Friday aimed at cracking down on counterfeit goods in the U.S. While the presidential order marks only the latest attempt to protect American-made goods and innovations, it’s not Mexico or China taking the heat this time; it’s Canada—and for good reason.

This country has a poor track record for harbouring and distributing counterfeit products from an illegal industry worth north of US$710 billion, according to a global study from the International Trademark Association and the International Chamber of Commerce. A recent report from the OECD pegged Canada as the third biggest source of fake goods, after China and Hong Kong, specifically technology products, that wind up for sale in Canada and abroad. Given that 20 per cent of these products are knock-offs of American brands, patents and other intellectual property, there’s little wonder the U.S. is so peeved by Canada’s lackadaisical approach to combatting counterfeit.

Trump’s ire isn’t the only problem for Canada when it comes to knock-offs. “The sale and importation of counterfeits in Canada is hurting our Canadian businesses, jobs and tax base,” says Lorne Lipkus, partner of Toronto-based law firm Kestenberg Siegal Lipkus LLP. Click here to read more.

Related: Trade in Counterfeit ICT Goods (OECD)