EU, US To Cooperate Against Counterfeit Goods
BRUSSELS (AP) —The European Union and U.S. plan to tackle together the traffic of fake luxury items, pirated music and counterfeit medicines with a deal set to be signed Tuesday that aims to help improve intellectual property rights protection in countries such as China and Russia.
The 25-nation bloc plans to work with the U.S. to train customs officials, exchange information and send anti-piracy experts to countries where counterfeiting is rife. The E.U. warns that countries that tolerate black market counterfeit goods could lose out on foreign investment and trade.
E.U. Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson and E.U. industry chief Guenter Verheugen plan to sign the anti-piracy strategy Tuesday and U.S. President George W. Bush and European leaders are to give it their backing Wednesday at an E.U.-U.S. summit in Vienna, Austria.
Initial efforts will focus on working with China and Russia, the E.U. said, but the plan also includes other countries in Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.
Trade in fake medicines is also flourishing, estimated to make up almost 10% of the world trade in medicines in 2004, according to the E.U. executive.