USA-IT Partners fighting against illegal trade and the black market




Philip Morris International

USA-IT is an initiative led by Philip Morris International (PMI) in conjunction with others from the private and public sectors, law enforcement, and various groups and organizations across the U.S. PMI has more than two decades of experience fighting illegal trade in tobacco products. The company invests significantly in supply chain controls through preventive and protective measures, implements track-and-trace solutions worldwide in line with strict regulatory requirements, and applies comprehensive due diligence of customers and suppliers. PMI works with private and public actors alike to help advance global anti-illegal trade efforts, including through PMI IMPACT, a global initiative supporting third-party projects against illegal trade and related crimes.

Procter & Gamble

Protecting consumers against counterfeits is consistent with P&G’s purpose to touch and improve the lives of consumers around the world. Our products are used by billions of consumers as a part of their daily routines and lives. Counterfeiting of consumer products is consumer fraud and can also be harmful to consumers’ health and safety. We are proud to support this campaign as part of our ongoing efforts to combat counterfeiting.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Intellectual property is critical to U.S. economic development and competitiveness. In 2016, the Department of Commerce found that intellectual property-intensive companies account for $6.6 trillion, or 38 percent of U.S. gross domestic output, drive 52 percent of U.S. exports, and support 45 million American jobs directly and indirectly. U.S. Chamber research shows strong statistical correlations between the strength of a country’s IP environment and its performance against key socioeconomic indicators, including private sector R&D funding, job creation in knowledge-intensive industries, innovative output, and access to innovation. The global scope of physical counterfeiting is the largest it has ever been—measured at $464 billion dollars by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The Global Intellectual Property Center is working around the world to champion intellectual property (IP) rights as vital to creating jobs, saving lives, advancing global economic growth, and generating breakthrough solutions to global challenges including combatting the counterfeit trade. The strength of our intellectual property system is a core competitive advantage of the United States. To create and preserve a safe and secure online environment, we must use all available tools to prevent efforts by bad actors, foreign or domestic—including in some cases governments—to undermine the competitiveness of the U.S. economy.

International Coalition Against Illicit Economies (ICAIE)

ICAIE recognizes that illegal trade, crime convergence, and corruption are threat multipliers that ripple across borders and imperil supply chain security, market integrity, democratic freedoms and institutions, and systems of open, free, and just societies. Illicit economies enable kleptocrats to loot their countries, criminal organizations to co-opt states and export violence, and terrorist groups to finance their attacks against our communities. ICAIE brings together committed leaders and diverse champions across sectors, including former members of the public sector, companies, and prominent organizations from the private sector and civil society toward collective action to combat cross-border illicit threats and protect global security.

Investigative Consultants

Investigative Consultants (IC) is a global intelligence company specializing in investigations related to illegal trade. IC has over 25 years of experience in combatting this issue. We have seen a rise in organized crime groups and other criminal organizations using illegal trade as a means to fund their criminal operations. In some cases, this includes crimes such as human trafficking, narcotics sales, money laundering, smuggling, and terrorist financing. IC has been involved in several thousand investigations that have led to the seizure of over a billion dollars’ worth of counterfeit goods and the arrest and prosecution of hundreds of counterfeiters.


BrandShield provides services from brand protection to online threat hunting, specializing in threat detection and takedown: online counterfeits, trademark abuse, grey market, illicit trade, and phishing across websites, marketplaces, social media platforms, mobile apps, and paid ads. BrandShield’s suite of proprietary AI/ML powered technology works by detecting potential threats, analyzing them, prioritizing them, and then taking them down. The company is proud to protect some of the biggest global companies in their efforts to fight illegal trade and to collaborate with global and local law enforcement relevant to illegal trade cases.


GrindStone Strategic Consulting, LLC provides effective, authoritative guidance and subject-matter expertise based on decades of homeland security and law enforcement experience at the highest levels of the federal government.

Through its network of decorated professionals, GrindStone possesses the knowledge, insight, and partnerships to help corporations achieve their organizational goals and solve critical challenges, while structured to provide personalized service and nimbly adapt to changing environments.

As former career sworn law enforcement officers dedicated to national security and public safety missions, GrindStone welcomes the opportunity to participate in this campaign and continue to serve the country in this critical public-private partnership countering illegal trade in furtherance of the safety and security of our communities and the American people.

Matt Albence, GrindStone’s Managing Principal, will serve as the spokesperson for this campaign and will be available for media engagements throughout.

National Association of Manufacturers

The National Association of Manufacturers is using our voice, on behalf of the millions of men and women that make things in America, to shine a light on the real and growing threat of counterfeiting and illegal trade. The sale of illegal goods is an urgent problem impacting manufacturers large and small. Counterfeit goods pose a triple threat: harming the safety and well-being of consumers, limiting the competitiveness of manufacturers of all sizes and undermining American innovation. The NAM is working with policymakers to provide manufacturers with real, actionable, innovative policy solutions that reverse the rising tide of counterfeit products.

American Apparel and Footwear Association

AAFA is the national trade association representing apparel, footwear, travel goods, and other sewn products companies, and their suppliers, that compete in the global market. Representing more than 1,000 world-famous name brands, AAFA is the trusted public policy and political voice of the apparel and footwear industry, its management and shareholders, its nearly 4 million U.S. workers, and its contribution of more than $400 billion in annual U.S. retail sales. AAFA’s Brand Protection Council (BPC) vigorously pursues brand protection efforts, with a focus on the global war against counterfeit apparel, footwear, accessories, and other supplier products. Stolen intellectual property costs AAFA members billions in lost sales, damage to brand reputation, and substantial legal expenses. Ultimately, these costs lead to U.S. job losses and higher costs for U.S. consumers.


Founded 45 years ago, SAS is a global leader in analytics and artificial intelligence. The company’s fraud technology is the marketplace’s most consistent leader, frequently placing at the top of analyst rankings. SAS combines advanced analytics, data visualization, and data management capabilities to democratize analytics, help customers digitally transform, and move businesses, industries, and society forward. SAS works with the private and public sectors to strengthen supply chains, increase public security and safety, decrease the impacts of crime, and prevent illegal trade and finance.


Sayari is a global leader in commercial and financial intelligence platforms to power the fight against financial crime, increase corporate transparency in high-risk places, and support critical national security mission sets. Third-party risk management and brand protection enforcement teams in over 30 countries use Sayari to understand the people and companies behind counterfeit, fraud, and product diversion schemes that threaten bottom line, product integrity, and business reputation. Sayari’s graph-based technology automatically builds a networked picture of your counter-parties and their relationships, captures key regulatory information like beneficial ownership, and quickly reveals any connections to watchlisted or other high-risk entities, all while providing access to original source documents and an audit trail.

National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center)

United States Council for International Business

Illegal trade is a serious threat that feeds a booming multi-trillion-dollar global illegal economy and harms every market, puts public health and safety at risk, and upends the rule of law and investment climate. It is a threat multiplier that helps fuel transnational crime, corruption, and greater insecurity and instability around the world. Illicit trade results in: lost revenue and market share; intellectual property theft, stolen data, and dis-incentivization of innovation; job displacement for workers and business closures; increased costs of doing business overseas; heightened violence and criminality in some markets; and diminished brand integrity and market reputational value.

This is a priority topic for USCIB members. We are engaged at OECD, through Business at OECD (BIAC), on the work of the Task Force on Countering Illicit Trade (TF-CIT) in efforts to address the threats and barriers tied to illegal trade, to promote strategic alliances, and to advance public-private partnerships (PPP). We work closely with BIAC and OECD on webinars on illegal trade in the COVID crisis environment, as well as with other international and/or regional bodies (e.g., APEC and B20) in efforts to elevate the fight against illegal trade across markets.

The Center on Shadow Economics

The Center on Shadow Economics (CSE) is dedicated to fighting illicit trade in all its forms. By building enforcement capacity within state and local policing agencies, we are establishing the foundation for a national economic defense grid. Winning the battle against the shadow economy is as critical for our nation’s security as it is to the well-being of our communities.

CSE provides research, outreach, training, and support for police executives in agencies of all sizes. As capacity builds, agencies will detect, disrupt, and dismantle entire criminal networks with far fewer resources. Once police leaders understand the systemic nature of the shadow economy, they will recognize the connection between property crimes, illegal trade, and violence.

Local Partners


Arizona Trucking Association

The Arizona Trucking Association serves as the trucking industry’s primary voice on transportation and other public policy issues in Arizona. We care deeply about the state and the nation in which our operators drive, and we have a long history of engaging with coalitions dedicated to public safety.

This issue is especially important in Arizona with the amount of cross-border trade that takes place in our state. Just one truck can carry millions of dollars in illicit cargo, so there are real consequences to illegal activity in our industry. And we know that illicit trade takes many forms, with less risky activity like trafficking illicit goods that may seem like victimless crimes but actually fund high-risk activity like human trafficking. The ATA has been a member of Truckers Against Trafficking coalition for years, and we take pride in the work of our drivers, who are trained to identify and report suspected human trafficking. Joining USA-IT is just one more way we can be proactive, and our partnership is a reflection of Arizona truckers’ continuing commitment to the safety of communities we serve.

Arizona Small Business Association

The Arizona Small Business Association (ASBA) works to foster and empower a thriving Arizona small business community by offering relevant, dynamic, and innovative resources and advocacy as the voice of small business in Arizona. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and with so many small businesses operating e-commerce platforms in the wake of the pandemic, illegal trade threatens their livelihoods now more than ever. Illegal trade in counterfeit goods creates unfair competition and brings risk into the business environment. ASBA is proud to join USA-IT to help protect our members and foster safer communities.

Arizona Lodging and Tourism Association

The Arizona Lodging and Tourism Association (AzLTA) is the leading statewide public policy organization advocating for Arizona’s hospitality, sports, lodging, and tourism industry. Our industry recognizes the dangers of illegal trade and the connection between stolen or counterfeit goods and other activities like the drug trade and even human trafficking. The AzLTA has been active in the fight against human trafficking, serving in a leadership role in Arizona’s SAFE (Safeguarding All From Exploitation) Action Program since 2019. USA-IT is another way we can stand up against these dangerous activities and promote safety for Arizona residents and visitors alike.

Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry

The issue of illegal trade affects businesses of every size in every industry. And in a state with an international border, this is especially true for our membership at the Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry. Our core mission is to advance Arizona’s position in the global economy, and illegal trade is a threat to that mission. Pirating, counterfeiting, and other illicit business diminishes the work of law-abiding business owners and all too often funds other criminal activities that put our communities at risk. We are committed to free and fair trade practices and are proud to partner with USA-IT in the fight against illegal trade.


Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department established a dedicated team in 2009 to investigate intellectual property rights violations.  The Counterfeit and Piracy Enforcement Team (CAPE) works in collaboration with federal and local law enforcement agencies, private investigators, and brand owners to investigate persons who engage in the sale/manufacture of counterfeit goods that substantially interfere with the quality of life, community peace, lawful commerce, property values, and the health and safety risks of consumers.  The CAPE team enforces local ordinances, state and federal laws to apprehend and prosecute persons who engage in the sale/manufacture of counterfeit goods, illicit pharmaceuticals, and illegal trade. Since its inception, the CAPE team has served hundreds of search warrants, made a significant amount of arrests that have resulted in prosecutions, and seized counterfeit merchandise. These include luxury name-brand purses, jewellery, clothing, movies and music, detergent, illicit/counterfeit pharmaceuticals, illicit tobacco, vapor cigarettes, power chargers, and cell phone charging accessories valued in the millions. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s CAPE team stays committed to protecting consumers from illegal trade practices designed to disrupt the integrity of trademarks and the safety associated with the brands. The CAPE team will continue to educate the public on the dangers of counterfeit merchandise and illicit pharmaceuticals and aggressively investigate those who are involved in intellectual property rights violations.


Florida Petroleum Marketers Association

Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association

Florida Retail Federation


Illinois Manufacturers’ Association

The Illinois Manufacturers’ Association is a statewide organization representing nearly 4,000 member companies and facilities that contribute the single largest share of the Illinois economy. Manufacturing supports 556,000 men and women directly who work on factory floors in every corner of the state. Illegal trade may lead to the loss of Illinois jobs and results in fewer financial resources for our state.

Illinois Retail Merchants Association

IRMA serves as the voice of Illinois retailers and has long fought proposals that feed illegal trade. IRMA fights every day to ensure a fair and competitive landscape for all retailers. Combatting illegal trade is part of that effort to protect retailers and the consumers they serve.

Illinois Fuel & Retail Association

Illinois Licensed Beverage Association

The Illinois Licensed Beverage Association (ILBA) is dedicated to promoting and protecting the retail businesses that sell or serve beverage alcohol. The ILBA’s mission as a not-for-profit organization is to maximize the business climate for retail businesses engaged in the sale and service of beverage alcohol products in Illinois and educate these businesses on better business practices. Our mission aligns with USA-IT’s objective to prevent illegal trade. The protection of businesses, employees, and citizens from illegal trade is a significant part of the ILBA goals.

Mid-West Truckers Association

Mid-West Truckers Association has previously participated in efforts to thwart illegal trade, working with allied associations at the state and national levels to monitor and prevent the movement of stolen freight, especially in major metropolitan areas. MTA’s most recent efforts have centered on human trafficking and the trucking industry’s concerted program to assist law enforcement authorities as the “eyes and ears” at truck stops, rest areas and public facilities where such activity is evident.

Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association

Human trafficking is incredibly widespread, and our hotels have an important role to play in keeping our community and our hotels safe from this harm. IHLA has partnered with Businesses Ending Slavery and Trafficking (BEST) to provide FREE human trafficking training for IHLA members and their staff. This 30-minute course can protect your hotel and even save a life.

Illinois Sheriffs’ Association

Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce

As the leading business organization representing both Chicago and Cook County, illegal trade is a critically important issue for the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce given the punitively high sales taxes in both localities. These taxes are some of the highest in the country and the illegal trade that occurs as a result is a leading driver of gang activity, crime, and gun violence. Gun violence, homicides, and carjacks have skyrocketed in Chicago throughout the pandemic. Not only has this crime directly impacted our members during looting and rioting events, the crime is deterring offices from reopening in our central business district and across our regions as workers have dual concerns over the pandemic and safety. Illegal trade and related crimes are harming economic development prospects as companies considering expansions or relocations in Chicago and Cook County end up deploying that investment in other area, including the suburbs, and other states. Lastly, illegal trade causes our small business members to receive less businesses while simultaneously resulting in less revenues for our local governments as costs continue to rise due to unfunded pension liabilities and other obligations.


Michigan State University Center for Anti-Counterfeiting and Product Protection

The Center for Anti-Counterfeiting and Product Protection (A-CAPP) at Michigan State University is dedicated to working with brand owners, governments, and other interested parties in addressing the illegal trade in counterfeit goods. We support this effort through a collaborative and multi-disciplinary approach to research, education, and outreach.

Michigan Chamber of Commerce

Combating illegal trade is imperative to a successful economy. Businesses cannot compete with those who do not follow the rules and that is important to the Michigan Chamber. In order for the free market to be as successful as possible, we must foster a fair, yet competitive business environment. Making sure that we rid the system of illegal trade is pivotal in attaining such an environment.

Police Officers Association of Michigan

Representing local police departments and county sheriff’s personnel, POAM knows full well the negative impact this industry has on our economy and citizens. Illegal trade hurts legitimate business and its labor pool, takes away local and state taxes that fund law enforcement and regulation while attracting the greediest of criminals. These felons distribute lower quality goods than consumers expect and pay for, and that becomes dangerous when involving safety material and personal protective equipment. Infiltrating and/or hampering these rackets is a time-consuming venture that spreads law enforcement resources thin. POAM believes that USA-IT is deserving of our engagement.

Michigan Trucking Association

Michigan Retailers Association

Michigan Retailers Association members take pride in providing the best quality consumer products to their customers. It is important that we are aware of and fight against counterfeit or expired products that could negatively impact the lives of our customers and their families.

Lansing Regional Chamber

The illegal trade of real and fake consumer products is a threat to our community’s safety. And, these criminal activities, based on breaking the rules that legitimate businesses follow, create situations with which our members cannot compete. We support the USAIT effort to fight illegal trade to protect free and fair markets.

Michigan Distributors and Vendors Association

The Michigan Distributors and Vendors Association (MDVA) is a non-profit, statewide business association representing two very significant business segments in the grocery and convenience products industry. MDVA’s mission is to advocate for and support the distributing, vending, and food service industries of Michigan.

Associated Builders and Contractors Greater Michigan Chapter

Midwest Independent Retailers Association

Michigan Licensed Beverage Association

The Michigan Licensed Beverage Association (MLBA) is proud to join USA-IT. MLBA is devoted to identifying and stopping illegal trade and smuggling, as well as providing training to all members and staff on these important issues. Through its educational arm, National Hospitality Institute (NHI), the MLBA is dedicated to educating members, police, municipal officers, and the general public on the current best practices in regard to the Michigan liquor code.

Michigan Petroleum Association/Michigan Association of Convenience Stores

The Michigan Petroleum Association/Michigan Association of Convenience Stores is proud to join USA-IT. Combating illegal trade and smuggling is imperative to a successful economy. MPA/MACS was founded on the promotion of a cooperative spirit and encouraging group efforts to achieve common goals. MPA/MACS is devoted to identifying and stopping illegal trade, as well as providing educational awareness and training to all members on these important issues.

Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce

The Grand Rapids Chamber is committed to fostering a thriving and prosperous West Michigan for all. Eliminating illegal trade of all types is an essential part of this mission, and that is why we are proud to be part of USA-IT to bring public awareness on these important issues.

Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association

The Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association (MB&WWA) is proud to join USA-IT along with other Michigan business and law enforcement organizations because illegal trade harms our economy and customers.


Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association

Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association

PMTA embraces and encourages safety and integrity both on and off the roadways. Our industry is filled with individuals and businesses that focus on doing things the right way, but we recognize that problems exist. PMTA educates members about these challenges and provides tools for trucking professionals to help law enforcement where necessary. Illegal trade harms us all, and PMTA’s members are among those that strive to follow the rules, keep everyone safe, and protect the principles of our industry.

Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry

Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association