Business Politics

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

The United States Chamber of Commerce (USCC) is the world’s largest business federation with a primary duty to advocate for and protect the rights of businesses and free enterprise before Congress, regulatory agencies, the White House, the courts, and governments worldwide. It includes a multitude of associations, thousands of local chambers, and a number of American Chambers of Commerce abroad.

The chamber maintains its headquarters in Washington, D.C. as well as a staff of over 300 policy specialists, lawyers, communicators, and lobbyists. The chamber is also known to spend more money than any other lobbying association on an annual basis. Its staff in Washington is supported by eight regional offices around the U.S, as well as offices in New York and Brussels and groups of grassroots business advocates.

Who They Represent

The United States Chamber of Commerce consists of members from multifarious business sizes and sectors ranging from home-based, sole proprietorship, to large corporations. The majority of its membership is comprised of businesses with less than a hundred employees.

USCC represents three million businesses, nearly 3,000 state and local chambers, 830 business associations and more than 100 American Chambers of Commerce in 91 countries around the globe.

History

In 1912, seven hundred delegates from different business and trade organizations assembled to create a unified organization of business interest that now carries the name “Unites States Chamber of Commerce.” The idea of a national association actually sprung from a message that President William Howard Taft gave to Congress in 1911 regarding a need for a “central organization in touch with associations and chambers of commerce throughout the country…”

The national chamber played a vital role in convincing the federal government to introduce a national budget and the successful passage of the Federal Reserve Act. The chamber sought to improve labor relations, put pressure on business taxes, boost production, create more jobs, develop new markets, curtail apparent over regulation, and build better cities.

Its headquarters was built on a property that was owned by Daniel Webster, a leading American statesman during pre-Civil War. It was finally completed in 1925 and the establishment was used as a rallying area for the American business community in their advocacy to promote and safeguard free enterprise and individual opportunity.

Major Issues

USCC tackles various issues concerning corporate governance; environment & energy; economy & taxes; health care; immigration; retirement & pension; training & education; government contracting; counterfeiting & piracy; international & trade issues; regulatory reform; transportation; labor & workplace; homeland security & defense issues; education & workforce training; and technology, telecom and E-commerce.

The Chamber currently carries out various agenda such as securing clean and affordable energy; fortifying American capital markets; keeping taxes low; providing American jobs through trade; drawing, educating, and empowering workers; putting a stop to lawsuit abuse and unfair litigation; providing healthcare and retirement security; challenging anti-growth programs of unions; protecting intellectual property; and modernize the nation’s infrastructure. The Chamber also supports offshore oil drilling; health savings accounts; social security reforms; nuclear power, globalization and free trade, immigration reform, and energy source diversity.