World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article
 

Trade association

A trade association, also known as an industry trade group, business association or sector association, is an organization founded and funded by bylaws and directed by officers who are also members.

In countries with a social dialogue.

Contents

  • Political influence 1
  • Publishing 2
  • Generic advertising 3
    • Ads to improve industry image 3.1
    • Ads to shape opinion on a specific issue 3.2
  • Controversy 4
    • Anti-competitive activity 4.1
    • Cartels 4.2
  • National and international trade associations 5
    • International 5.1
    • Canada 5.2
    • East Asia 5.3
    • Europe 5.4
    • India 5.5
    • United Kingdom 5.6
    • United States 5.7
  • Copyright trade groups 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • Further reading 9

Political influence

One of the primary purposes of trade groups, particularly in the United States and to a similar but lesser extent elsewhere, is to attempt to influence public policy in a direction favorable to the group's members. This can take the form of contributions to the campaigns of political candidates and parties through Political Action Committees (PACs); contributions to "issue" campaigns not tied to a candidate or party; and lobbying legislators to support or oppose particular legislation. In addition, trade groups attempt to influence the activities of regulatory bodies.

In the United States, direct contributions by PACs to candidates are required to be disclosed to the Federal Election Commission (or state and local election overseers), are considered public information and have registration requirements for lobbyists. Even so, it can sometimes be difficult to trace the funding for issue and non-electoral campaigns.

Publishing

Almost all trade associations are heavily involved in publishing activities in print and online. The main media published by trade associations are as follows:

  • Association website. The association's corporate website typically explains the association's aims and objectives, promotes the association's products and services, explains the benefits of membership to prospective members, and promotes members' businesses (for example, by means of an online listing of members and description of their businesses).
  • Members newsletters or magazines. Whether produced in print or online, association newsletters and magazines contain news about the activities of the association, industry news and editorial features on topical issues. Some are exclusively distributed to members, while others are used to lobby lawmakers and regulators, and some are used to promote members' businesses to potential new customers.
  • Printed membership directories and yearbooks. Larger trade associations publish membership directories and yearbooks to promote their association to opinion formers, lawmakers, regulators and other stakeholders. Such publications also help to promote members' businesses both to each other and to a wider audience. A typical membership directory contains profiles of each association member, a products and services guide, advertising from members, and editorial articles about the aims, objectives and activities of the association. The emphasis of association yearbooks on the other hand is on editorial features about the association itself and the association's industry.

The opportunity to be promoted in such media (whether by editorial or advertising) is often an important reason why companies join a trade association in the first place.

Examples of larger trade associations that publish a comprehensive range of media include European Wind Energy Association (EWEA), Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) and the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

Generic advertising

Industry trade groups sometimes produce advertisements, just as normal corporations do. However, whereas typical advertisements are for a specific corporate product, such as a specific brand of cheese or toilet paper, industry trade groups advertisements generally are targeted to promote the views of an entire industry.

Ads to improve industry image

These ads mention only the industry's products as a whole, painting them in a positive light in order to have the public form positive associations with that industry and its products. For example, in the USA the advertising campaign "Beef. It's what's for dinner" is used by the National Cattlemen's Beef Association to promote a positive image of beef in the public consciousness.

Ads to shape opinion on a specific issue

These are adverts targeted at specific issues. For example, in the USA in the early 2000s the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) began running advertisements before films that advocate against movie piracy over the Internet.

Controversy

A common criticism of trade associations is that, while they are not per se "profit-making" organizations that claim to do valuable work which is ultimately for the public benefit, they are in reality fronts for price-fixing cartels and other subtle anti-competitive activities that are not in the public interest.

Anti-competitive activity

Jon Leibowitz, commissioner at the Federal Trade Commission in the United States, outlined the potentially anti-competitive nature of some trade association activity in a speech to the American Bar Association in Washington, D.C. in March 2005 called “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Trade Associations and Antitrust”. For instance, he said, under the guise of "standard setting" trade associations representing the established players in an industry can set rules that make it harder for new companies to enter a market.[1]

Cartels

In September 2007, the German trade association for [2]

National and international trade associations

International

Canada

East Asia

Europe

India

United Kingdom

In the UK there are thought to be more than 1600 trade associations.[3] The term "industry trade group" is used very little in British English. Alternative terms used in the UK include trade association and employer association.

United States

There are over 7,600 national trade associations in the United States, with a large number (approximately 2,000) headquartered in the Washington, DC area.[4] There are also many trade associations at the state and local levels.

One of the oldest trade associations in the United States is the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA), founded in 1883.[5]

Copyright trade groups

See also

References

  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ National Trade and Professional Associations (2008), 43rd ed., ISBN 978-1-880873-56-4
  5. ^

Further reading

  • Garrelts, Frank: Märkte im Umbruch - Kooperationen als Chance im Handel (Markets on the move - trade associations as a business opportunity), München: Beck 1998, ISBN 3-406-43993-4
    abstract in English available here [1]
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 



Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.