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Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty

The Trump administration is targeting U.S. and Chinese e-commerce sites — Amazon, Alibaba, eBay, and others — in an effort to curb an outbreak of counterfeit brand-name products.

What's happening: In a presidential memorandum today, President Trump ordered government agencies to report back by November on how to counteract an estimated half-trillion-dollar-a-year business.

Counterfeiting of the biggest brand names is a major global business. Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce platform, has had a particular problem with counterfeit goods on its Tmall site. The White House estimated that about $100 billion in counterfeiting infringes on American intellectual property.

  • In an op-ed today in the WSJ, Navarro said a problem is that current law doesn't effectively police e-commerce. "Alibaba, Amazon and eBay face virtually no liability when they act as middlemen for counterfeiters," he wrote.

In a statement, an Alibaba spokesman said: “We welcome this new initiative and the attention it brings to the global fight against counterfeiting. Alibaba has developed best-in-class systems to protect IP and battle the scourge of counterfeiting. This work takes place through substantial collaboration with brands, law enforcement, trade associations and consumers, both on our platforms and offline at the criminal sources of production and distribution. We look forward to further advancing the working relationship and cooperation that we have with the US federal agencies mentioned in today's order, as well as with our global commerce peers.”

Ebay and Amazon did not respond to emails.

Go deeper: Amazon's problem with fake goods

Go deeper

Scoop: Trump talked out of early Ohio endorsement

Jane Timken at a 2017 Trump rally. Photo: Kyle Mazza/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Donald Trump had to be talked out of making an early endorsement in Ohio's 2022 U.S. Senate race, a sign of his eagerness to reengage politically, people familiar with the conversations tell Axios.

What we're hearing: The former president discussed endorsing former state GOP chair Jane Timken last week during a meeting at Mar-a-Lago with RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, but top advisers — including Donald Trump Jr. — urged him to wait.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: Trump received COVID vaccine at White House in January — CDC director warns "now is not the time" to lift COVID restrictions.
  2. Education: More schools are reopening in the U.S.
  3. Vaccine: J&J CEO "absolutely" confident in vaccine distribution goals Most states aren't prioritizing prisons for COVID vaccines — Vaccine hesitancy is shrinking.
  4. Economy: Apple says all U.S. stores open for the first time since start of pandemic — What's really going on with the labor market.
  5. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.
  6. World: Latin America turns to China and Russia for COVID-19 vaccines.
Dave Lawler, author of World
1 hour ago - World

Latin America turns to China and Russia for COVID-19 vaccines

Several countries in the Americas have received their first vaccine shipments over the past few weeks — not from the regional superpower or from Western pharmaceutical giants, but from China, Russia, and in some cases India.

Why it matters: North and South America have been battered by the pandemic and recorded several of the world’s highest death tolls. Few countries other than the U.S. have the capacity to manufacture vaccines at scale, and most lack the resources to buy their way to the front of the line for imports. That’s led to a scramble for whatever supply is available.