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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
March 16, 2006
Fact Sheet: President Bush Signs the Stop Counterfeiting in Manufactured Goods Act
Today, President Bush Signed The Stop Counterfeiting In Manufactured Goods Act. This legislation helps protect the rights of America's consumers, workers, and entrepreneurs by strengthening our laws against counterfeit labels and packaging; by strengthening penalties for counterfeiters; and by giving prosecutors new tools to stop those who defraud American consumers. In the 21st century, the great opportunities of our free enterprise system are threatened by those who try to take shortcuts to success by copying existing products to deceive consumers and unfairly profit from someone else's work. The Stop Counterfeiting in Manufactured Goods Act protects the work of American innovators, strengthens the rule of law, and helps keep American families safe.
Counterfeiting Hurts Businesses, Workers, Consumers, Government, And Our National Security. In recent years, the problem of counterfeiting has grown rapidly. Counterfeiting costs America hundreds of billions of dollars a year and has harmful effects throughout the economy. Fake products can expose consumers to serious health and safety risks. Government loses out on tax revenues and is forced to divert law enforcement from other purposes. Terrorist networks use counterfeit sales to finance their operations.
The Stop Counterfeiting In Manufactured Goods Act:
The Administration Is Leading A Bold Initiative Called STOP - Strategy Targeting Organized Piracy. Nine Federal agencies are coming together - including the Department of Justice, which has launched the most aggressive effort in American history to prevent intellectual property violations. Computer hacking and intellectual property units in U.S. Attorneys' offices nationwide have been expanded, and specially trained prosecutors and FBI agents are being posted at American embassies in Asia and Eastern Europe. We are working with other nations and the World Trade Organization to promote strong intellectual property laws, and we are cooperating with the private sector to raise awareness of counterfeiting.
America's Economy Is Strong And Getting Stronger. Last year, the economy grew at a healthy 3.5 percent rate - faster than any other major industrialized country. Over the past two-and-a-half years, we have added nearly 5 million new jobs - more than Japan and the European Union combined. The unemployment rate is down to 4.8 percent - lower than the average of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. More Americans now own their homes than at any time in our Nation's history, and minority home ownership has reached record highs. Productivity has grown strongly over the last five years, and small businesses are thriving. Inflation is contained, household net worth is at an all-time high, and real after-tax income is up more than 8 percent since the beginning of 2001. America is productive, innovative, and entrepreneurial - and the Stop Counterfeiting in Manufactured Goods Act will help keep it that way.
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