The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is a national not-for-profit business federation devoted to promoting business interests in the United States and around the globe. Founded as a national federation in 1912 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has long championed the cause of large and small businesses alike. Primary areas of activity by the Chamber include efforts to: ease perceived overregulation of business activities; cut taxes on businesses; strengthen trade relations with other nations; improve labor relations; increase productivity and innovation in all industry areas; develop new markets; study major business policy issues; improve socioeconomic conditions in communities; and reduce business-related litigation.
In 2000 the membership of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce included 830 business associations, approximately 3,000 local and state chambers of commerce; 87 American Chambers of Commerce based in foreign markets; and 3 million individual business enterprises. Of the latter members, the Chamber counts most of the United States' largest corporations. But according to Chamber of Commerce data, more than 96 percent of the federation's members are small businesses with 100 or fewer employees.
In addition to its intensive lobbying activities on behalf of its membership, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce boasts several affiliated organizations engaged in policy areas of interest to small and large businesses alike. The National Chamber Foundation (NCF), for instance, is a public and business policy research institution dedicated to exploring issues and solving problems found in the modern business world. The Chamber also supports two organizations devoted to legal issues. Its National Chamber Litigation center (NCLC) represents businesses in legal proceedings, while the Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) is dedicated to tort reform and other pro-business changes to the U.S. legal system. Other foundations associated with and supported by the Chamber include the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), which promotes business development in Third World countries, and the Center for Workforce Preparation (CWP), which endeavors to boost workforce education and training initiatives in all industries. In 2000 the Chamber also announced its intention to establish a humanitarian aid foundation called the Center for Corporate Citizenship Foundation. This organization's mandate will be to channel corporate donations to victims of natural disasters and other groups and individuals in need.
The national offices of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are located in Washington, DC. The Chamber also maintains an Internet presence at www.uschamber.org .
Mack, Charles S. Business, Politics, and the Practice of Government Relations. Quorum, 1997.
SEE ALSO: Chambers of Commerce