Trade association

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**Trade Association Overview:**
– Definition: Organization founded and funded by businesses in a specific industry
– Focus on collaboration between companies
– Services offered: conferences, industry standards, networking events
– Governance: bylaws, member officers
– Role in social dialogue in countries with a social market economy

**Political Influence of Trade Associations:**
– Influence on public policy through contributions, lobbying, political donations
– Attempts to influence regulatory bodies
– Disclosure requirements for PAC contributions in the United States
– Difficulty in tracing funding for issue campaigns
– Public information on direct contributions by PACs

**Publishing Activities of Trade Associations:**
– Involvement in publishing activities in print and online
– Media used: association websites, member newsletters, printed directories
– Purpose: promote association aims, members, industry
– Promotes members’ businesses to a wider audience
– Examples of associations involved in comprehensive publishing activities

**Generic Advertising by Trade Associations:**
– Production of advertisements to promote industry views
– Ads target promoting the entire industry, not specific products
– Aim to shape public perception of the industry positively
– Examples of industry-wide advertising campaigns
– Used to improve the industry’s image and influence public opinion on specific issues

**Controversies Surrounding Trade Associations:**
– Criticism for alleged anti-competitive practices
– Allegations of price-fixing, creating barriers to entry in industries
– Concerns about commitment to fair competition, public welfare
– Scrutiny on intentions, impact on the economy
– Instances of potential anti-competitive behavior, cartels in trade associations

Trade association (Wikipedia)

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, publishing, lobbying, and political donations, but its focus is collaboration between companies. Associations may offer other services, such as producing conferences, setting industry standards, holding 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. (FEC: Solicitable Class of Trade Association). Many associations are non-profit organizations governed by bylaws and directed by officers who are also members. (Library of Congress).

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.

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