First of all, what a fascinating presentation! To understand the scope of intellectual property theft and the sheer size of the illegal operations going on around us every day is astonishing. Some of these businesses - that are putting fraudulent goods onto the streets and, many times, into our homes every day have annual revenues in the tens of millions of dollars. One of the agents presenting said the estimates are that for the average American, 30-35% of what you use or consume on a daily basis is counterfeit. Yikes!
That's why many companies - names you know - have invested heavily in brand security. That's to let their customers know when they make a purchase, they're getting the genuine article. It's also why many U.S. companies have developed a close partnership with Operation Joint Venture - because counterfeiting hurts everyone. While fraud is absolutely detrimental to companies that produce goods, the individual American might not necessarily feel the sting when buying a purse or a pair of sneakers. But put it in perspective of a counterfeit pharmaceutical product, and it sheds a whole different light on the topic.
Especially in border communities, border and customs agents often have a stigma about them that bring to mind lines at the border and trade delays. Having had the opportunity to spend more and more time talking with the men and women protecting our border, it's clear that their goals are very much aligned with the business community's as far as enhancing and optimizing legitimate trade and border crossings. That's the crux of Operation Joint Venture. Companies are signing on to be the "eyes and ears" of the national economy - because the better systems and networks we have in place to stop illegal trade, the better and more streamlined our borders will be at facilitating legitimate trade.
For manufacturers looking for help with brand protection, the Operation Joint Venture presentation can be found here.