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February 3, 2020 9:30 AM, EST

US Mulls Global Parcel Fee Change as Part of Contraband Fight

A customer wraps a USPS priority mail package at a post office in Maryland in 2017.A customer wraps a USPS priority mail package at a post office in Maryland in 2017. (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg News)

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President Donald Trump signed an executive order Jan. 31 designed to combat the flow of foreign counterfeit goods sold on e-commerce platforms like the websites of Amazon.com Inc., eBay Inc. and Walmart Inc.

As part of the program, the Department of Homeland Security will examine whether the U.S. government is collecting enough fees to cover the cost of processing and inspecting parcels entering the U.S.

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The administration will also develop rules to determine whether the postal services of foreign governments are doing enough to protect the U.S. from counterfeit shipments. In addition, the U.S. will draft regulations intended to pressure e-commerce sites to do more to identify sellers of counterfeit or illegal goods.

“The trafficking of counterfeit and pirated goods is a scourge that causes significant harm to our workers, consumers, intellectual property owners, and economy,” U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a statement.

The move comes amid a broader push by Trump to examine the business practices of Amazon, which the president has accused of “scamming” the U.S. Postal Service through low-cost package delivery. Trump has expressed frequent frustration with Jeff Bezos over news coverage by the Washington Post, which the Amazon founder also owns.

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