Toy Association’s Rebecca Mond Engages with Top White House Officials on Counterfeits

May 3, 2019 | The Toy Association’s Rebecca Mond, vice president of federal government affairs, last week participated in a White House Roundtable on reducing illicit, knockoff, and counterfeit goods sold through e-commerce platforms. The roundtable focused on the issues rights owners face in policing their brands online; steps platforms are taking to address illicit activity; and possible regulatory or legislative solutions to the issue.  

The meeting was held as a follow-up to the White House Memorandum on Combating Trafficking in Counterfeit and Pirated Goods, issued in early April, which directed the Administration to complete a report with recommendations to address the issue, due at the end of October.

The roundtable was led by Assistant to the President and Director of Trade and Manufacturing Peter Navarro and IP Enforcement Coordinator Vishal Amin. Additional high-level government participants included Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway, and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. The meeting was also attended by brand owners who echoed Toy Association concerns on the challenges faced in this area, including the costliness of IP enforcement and issues with the current liability landscape. Platforms presented on their enforcement activities, though Navarro criticized their efforts as “not going far enough” and told them that “more must be done.”

After the meeting, Mond had the opportunity to speak one-on-one with Navarro and share The Toy Association’s White Paper, “The Real Threat of Fake Toys.” She also expressed the Association’s interest in participating in the small working group being created by Navarro to tackle the issue.

In a follow-up letter to Navarro and Amin, Steve Pasierb, president & CEO of The Toy Association, stated: “Thank you for the opportunity to participate in the White House Intellectual Property Roundtable and for your focus on the very important issue of combating the trafficking of counterfeit goods. The Toy Association is very much aligned with the U.S. government on this issue and appreciates your interest in identifying and pursing solutions. We welcome the opportunity to continue to engage with your offices on this topic through the working groups mentioned during the roundtable and other opportunities.”

The Toy Association will continue to collaborate and engage with government officials on this topic. Members will be kept apprised of any developments.