Everyone likes a bargain. But buying counterfeit smartphones or downloading pirated music actually carries a hefty price tag.
Experts project that counterfeiting and piracy will cost the global economy $2.3 trillion by 2022 by cheating companies and people of the right to benefit from their creativity, known as intellectual property rights.
Equally important, most counterfeit goods are produced in sweatshops run by organized crime. Profits often support terrorist groups, drug smugglers and even modern-day slavery.
Whenever you buy something, think about what might be a counterfeit, a knockoff or something pirated. Learn the differences:
The Trump administration is working to protect American intellectual property. President Trump on August 14 directed U.S. officials to examine whether China should be investigated for “unreasonable or discriminatory policies” that may harm American intellectual property rights, innovation, or technological development.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, China, including Hong Kong, accounts for 88 percent of seized counterfeit goods coming into the United States, the White House noted in a fact sheet.
A version of this story was published April 24, 2017.
Staff writer Lauren Monsen contributed to this story.