Washington, D.C. — Yesterday, the Senate Finance Committee convened a hearing to discuss the threats posed to consumers by counterfeits traded on e-commerce platforms. The hearing was held in response to a recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report that identified challenges facing customs authorities with the rise of e-commerce trade.
The Precious Metals Association of North America (PMANA) warned the committee that the e-commerce explosion has resulted in the spread of fake bullion on a mass scale. “E-commerce has helped businesses connect to a wider consumer base, but it has also given Chinese counterfeiters greater consumer access for selling fake goods,” PMANA President Scott Smith said in a statement. “As these manufacturers profit, brands in the precious metals industry are damaged, revenues fall, and jobs along the supply chain suffer,” he said.
Chinese-produced counterfeit coins continue to enter the country at an alarming rate. Many of these coins are sold on sites like Alibaba with assurances to evade detection. With recent gold prices, counterfeiters can easily snag a 400 percent return on their investment.
Customs authorities also have difficulty keeping pace with the rise in small package shipments through express and international mail — which help counterfeiters evade detection and duties. This is not only concerning to the precious metals industry but also to members of the Coalition to Combat Counterfeiting (CCC) — a national anti-counterfeiting coalition led by PMANA. During the hearing, Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) shared concerns brought to him by the CCC and stressed the urgency of finding a solution as more and more businesses are affected.
The PMANA is proud to continue its leading role both in the precious metals industry and on a broader national scale to protect the industries and consumers that help our country thrive.
Press release courtesy of the Precious Metals Association of North America.