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Trade association: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

An industry trade group, also known as a trade association, 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 main focus is collaboration between companies, or standardization. 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 have a role in the social dialogue.


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.

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


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.

Below are two different general types of advertising used by these groups.

Ads to improve industry image

These ads mention only the industries 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 MPAA began running advertisements before films that advocate against movie piracy over the Internet.

U.S. national industry trade groups

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.[1] 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, founded in 1883.[2] European guilds, however, predate it by centuries.

European industry trade groups

East Asian industry trade groups

Indian industry trade groups

Canadian industry trade groups

UK industry trade groups

Note: the term "industry trade group" is very little used in British English. Alternative terms used in the UK include trade association and employer association.

International trade groups

CINOA - principal international art and antique dealers confederation
International Chamber of Shipping - principal trade association for the international shipping industry

Copyright trade groups

Sometimes the shorthand **AA is used to refer to both the RIAA and the MPAA.

  • BSA, the Business Software Alliance, protects the intellectual property of software developers.
  • ESA, the Entertainment Software Association, protects the intellectual property of game developers.
  • IFPI, the International Federation of Phonogram and Videogram Producers (website). IFPI represents the recording industry worldwide with over 1450 members in 75 countries and affiliated industry associations in 48 countries. The IFPI works in partnership with similar national organizations, which are listed on the site. IFPI are affiliated with the RIAA.
  • BPI, the British Phonographic Industry (website) is the UK music industry association. They founded the BRIT Awards, and give Gold, Silver and Platinum disks for UK-based sales. While they also try to prevent and punish copyright infringement, their efforts are more subdued than those of the RIAA's.
  • FACT, the Federation Against Copyright Theft (website) is the main UK anti-copyright infringement organization, though it mainly deals with copyright infringement relating to films.
  • CRIA, the Canadian Recording Industry Association (website) is the non-profit trade organization representing Canadian companies that create, manufacture and market sound recordings.
  • ARIA, the Australian Recording Industry Association (website) is the organization which oversees the collection, administration and distribution of music licenses and royalties in Australia.
  • RIANZ, the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand, is the non-profit trade association for producers and artists in New Zealand.
  • JASRAC, the Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers in Japan.
  • RIAJ, the Recording industries Association of Japan.
  • ROMS, the Russian Organization on Collective Management of Rights of Authors and Other Rightholders in Multimedia, Digital Networks & Visual Arts in Russia.
  • AMPROFON, the Mexican association of Producers of Phonograms and Videograms.
  • AVPAS, Anti Video Piracy Association of Singapore for anime.
  • GEMA (Gesellschaft für musikalische Aufführungs- und mechanische Vervielfältigungsrechte) in Germany

See also


  1. ^ National Trade and Professional Associations (2008), 43rd ed., ISBN 978 1-880873-56-4
  2. ^ First-the Seed retrieved 13 June 2009

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

External Links

The British Plastics Federation Website



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