US blacklists five Amazon foreign websites
Five of Amazon’s foreign websites, the online retail giant, have been blacklisted by the Trump administration.
Its e-commerce platforms in the UK, Germany, France, India and Canada have been added to a “known markets” register.
The U.S. commercial representative’s office said the sites facilitated the sale of counterfeit and pirated products.
Amazon said the move was politically motivated and invested heavily in preventing illegal activities.
The sales representative’s office said the addition of the Amazon sites is the result of complaints from U.S. companies for selling counterfeit products.
While the list has no legal weight, it puts the spotlight on those companies included in it, especially when it comes to family names like Amazon.
Amazon has described the inclusion of its sites as a “political act” motivated by President Donald Trump’s apparent dislike of Jeff Bezos, its founder and CEO.
“This purely political act is another example of the administration using the United States government to advance a personal vendetta against Amazon,” the company said in a statement.
The online shopping giant also claimed to have made significant investments in technology to prevent counterfeit products from being sold on its platforms. The American Amazon website has been excluded from the list.
According to the report, the complaints claimed that Amazon’s sites did not provide clear information about the vendors and that the process of removing the platforms selling counterfeit products was “long and expensive”.
Amazon said in the statement that it had invested significantly in solving the problem and had blocked over 6 billion invalid listings before they were published on the platform last year.
“We are an active stakeholder in the fight against counterfeiting,” added an Amazon spokesman.
Trump often clashed with Amazon and personally with Bezos, owner of the Washington Post newspaper. In the past Trump has claimed that Amazon does not pay enough in taxes.
Last year, Amazon challenged the United States Department of Defense to court after being transferred for a $ 10 billion (£ 8 billion) Pentagon cloud computing contract, which went to Microsoft. The deal is currently blocked as federal courts investigate complaints.