Industry Backs ACTA

The body representing the European textile and apparel industry is urging the European Parliament and EU member states to adopt legislation designed to combat global copyright infringement – despite mounting public opposition to the treaty.
The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) is designed to help countries work together more closely to combat global trade piracy, but has faced mounting protests across Europe amid fears it amounts to internet censorship.
It has so far been signed by 22 EU member states, as well as Australia, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, and the US.
Euratex (the European Apparel and Textile Confederation) is now calling on the member states that have not ratified yet this agreement to do so – and for the European Parliament to approve the treaty.
Most of its members are small and medium sized companies with fewer than 15 employees, and the ACTA is key to providing these firms with “strong and efficient instruments for protecting creativity and innovation,” it says.
“Whether they produce traditional, technical, high-tech textiles, or apparel, our enterprises are all hit by counterfeiting and piracy which, even if it does not always have a direct impact on the health and safety of European consumers, always dramatically harms the economy of our EU regions, with a direct impact on employment, and allows for the creation, evolution and continuation of intolerable illegal activities,” a statement says.
According to its figures, clothing accounted for 26% of EU customs procedures in 2010, with 7.78m articles seized – around 7% of the total seizures. The retail value of the clothing goods would have been EUR177.9m.
The main county of origin of textile and clothing counterfeits was China, accounting for 76 % of the total.

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