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A trade association , also known as an industry trade group , business association , sector association or industry body , is an organization founded and funded by businesses that operate in a specific industry. An industry trade association participates in public relations activities such as advertising , education , political donations , lobbying and publishing , but its focus is collaboration between companies.
Associations may offer other services, such as producing conferences, networking or charitable events or offering classes or educational materials. Many associations are non-profit organizations governed by bylaws and directed by officers who are also members.
In countries with a social market economy , the role of trade associations is often taken by employers' organizations , which also take a role in social dialogue. 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.
It 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.
Almost all trade associations are heavily involved in publishing activities in print and online. The main media published by trade associations are as follows:. 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. 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. 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. These are adverts targeted at specific issues.
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.
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. 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.
In September , the German trade association for Fachverband Verbindungs- und Befestigungstechnik VBT and five fastener companies were fined million euros by the European Commission for operating cartels in the markets for fasteners and attaching machines in Europe and worldwide. In the UK there are thought to be more than trade associations. Alternative terms used in the UK include trade association and employer association. There are over 7, national trade associations in the United States, with a large number approximately 2, headquartered in the Washington, DC area.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. List of industry trade groups in the United States. Chamber of commerce and Big Business. The American Seed Trade Association. Retrieved June 13, Employers' organization Chamber of commerce Inter-professional association Trade association List of food industry trade associations List of industry trade groups in the United States Cooperative federation.
Trade union Consumer organization. Retrieved from " https: Trade associations Types of organization. All articles with unsourced statements Articles with unsourced statements from June Wikipedia articles with GND identifiers.