USA-IT Public Education Initiative’s Success Drives Expansion to New States
NEW YORK — (BUSINESS WIRE) — Today, a coalition of private and public actors expanded the public education initiative to fight black-market trade entitled United to Safeguard America from Illegal Trade (USA-IT). The campaign is empowering local officials, law enforcement, and other leaders with new information and training programs and raising public awareness of the depth and severity of illegal trade.
USA-IT is expanding the initiative into Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Tennessee—these four states join Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Texas, the states where USA-IT began its initiative. All face critical illegal trade issues.
To date, USA-IT has brought together nearly 60 national and state brand enforcement experts, law enforcement agencies, and leading business organizations dedicated to fighting illegal trade. Recently, the coalition was honored to welcome as new partners Crime Stoppers USA (CSUSA) and Grace Farms Foundation.
“Crime Stoppers of the United States of America is proud to partner in the fight against illegal trade,” said CSUSA’s Crimeline executive director Barb Bergin.
“I am proud to work with and support USA-IT. Illegal trade is a global threat to the people and the environment, harming both our economy and well-being. We have seen firsthand the expansion of the transnational organized crime syndicates in illegal goods, human trafficking, and wildlife trafficking. USA-IT is bringing together all the relevant parties in discussing and implementing effective strategies to combat this nefarious global threat,” said Rod Khattabi, chief accountability officer and justice initiative director at Grace Farms Foundation.
“In 2019, counterfeit goods robbed the U.S. economy of $131 billion and 325,500 jobs—but it doesn’t stop there. The same criminals who traffic in counterfeit and fraudulent products also traffic narcotics, guns, and even human beings. The black-market fuels organized criminal networks—including terror groups and drug cartels—while damaging our economy, businesses, and our communities,” said USA-IT spokesman and former director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Matt Albence.
“These criminals are nimble enough to avoid law enforcement, enterprising enough to continually establish new revenue streams, and dynamic in their execution. And no one government or industry can address this complex problem on its own. Tackling illegal trade requires cooperation and public-private partnerships, making full use of existing expertise, information sharing, innovative solutions, and evolving technologies,” added Albence.
Globally, the black market is a $464 billion-a-year business. Criminals get rich from illegal trade by robbing revenues meant to provide essential services to Americans. Instead of helping taxpayers, that money is used to fund the world’s most dangerous criminal enterprises. These groups exploit governments and citizens, manipulate financial systems, spur corruption, and cultivate instability and violence that threaten our communities.
Public actors, the private sector, and civil society alike all have a role to play. Only through cooperative efforts like USA-IT can we effectively ensure a safer, more secure, and more prosperous future.
For more information about USA-IT’s efforts to combat illegal trade and to get involved, visit USAIT.org or email us at contact@USAIT.org.
For media requests, please email sam.dashiell@USAIT.org
About USA-IT United to Safeguard America from Illegal Trade (USA-IT) is a public- and private-sector partnership designed to help protect American security and prosperity from black-market
Contacts Sam Dashiell U.S. Communications, Philip Morris International T. +1 (202) 480 1617 E. sam.dashiell@USAIT.org