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U.S. seizes counterfeit shoes worth millions

by Lynde Langdon
Posted 10/10/19, 11:33 am

A cache of fake Nike sneakers could have sold for $2.2 million if they had made it past U.S. customs agents in Los Angeles. Customs and Border Protection announced Wednesday it had seized more than 14,800 pairs of counterfeit special edition and retro design Air Jordan and Air Max shoes. They found the knockoffs in two containers shipped from China and marked as carrying napkins.

How lucrative is the market for fake shoes? An authentic pair of these shoes could go for between $1,500 and $2,000. Nike has released more than 30 styles of the Air Jordan since its debut in 1984, and collectors will pay big bucks for some discontinued versions. Resellers would likely try to pass off the seized shoes to customers as the real thing.

Dig deeper: President Donald Trump has made cracking down on intellectual property theft a priority in trade talks with China. Read Anne K. Walter’s report in The Stew on the downsides of using tariffs as a negotiating tactic.


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Lynde Langdon

Lynde is a WORLD Digital’s managing editor and reports on popular and fine arts. She lives in Wichita, Kan., with her husband and two daughters. Follow Lynde on Twitter @lmlangdon.

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  • OldMike
    Posted: Thu, 10/10/2019 02:33 pm

    I doubt we catch even a tenth of the fake brand name products coming from China. This is nothing new: I remember reading, 25 or so years ago, that Chinese manufacturers were making, and sending to the US, copies of Mac and IBM personal computer cases, with cheap internals.

    China intends to dominate the world someday soon, and in my opinion, they are willing to use any means necessary.  And they are fully aware there’s no need to start any kind of shooting war to accomplish their goals. 

    I’m glad President Trump has made this a priority.  Previous administrations have mostly ignored China’s trade abuses. 

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