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Another Local Chamber Withdraws From The U.S. Chamber Citing Their Partisanship, Positions On Climate Change And Health Care
Last week, another local Chamber of Commerce member announced that they had canceled their membership to the U.S. Chamber, citing the national business lobby’s intense partisanship, opposition to health care reform and draconian views on climate change. Since 2009, nearly sixty local Chambers of Commerce have either withdrawn or denounced the U.S. Chamber. In fact, just this past fall the Asheville (NC), Newton-Needham (MA), and Homer (AK) Chambers of Commerce withdrew from the U.S. Chamber, all disavowing the national organizations extreme positions.
In a statement, the Taos County Chamber of Commerce's (TCCC) CEO explicitly denounced the U.S. Chamber’s extreme positions:
Myth: The policies and views of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are shared by the TCCC.
Fact: Nothing could be further from the truth. The TCCC bases its policies and views on input from our Taos business community, not on what might score points in the political arena. Our job is to advocate for the best interests of our members and the business community at large. A national organization has no way of being in tune with what is important to Taosenos. Because many of the views of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are opposed to the views of our membership and the business community we decided it would be in our best interests to sever our relationship with the national organization.
All of this is not to say that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce does not have some very good programs and policies. The USCC has been fighting for the interests of the national business community for many years. They have educational programs such as the Institute for Organization Management, of which I’m a graduate, which are great opportunities to learn from some of the best industry professionals in the country. The organization also has great training for working with government officials and promoting a business agenda. At some point they may back off their stands on environmental issues and health care, plus their political endorsements. When that happens we may entertain joining again. Until that time we will continue to listen to our business community and fight for what will benefit their interests.
And it’s not just local Chambers of Commerce that reject the U.S. Chamber’s extreme partisanship and radical positions. Last month, Yahoo! joined a growing chorus of major corporations that have either withdrawn or denounced the U.S. Chamber. In a bombshell report last week, Politico revealed that Google and the Consumer Electronics Association are "frustrated" with the U.S. Chamber and are considering canceling their memberships.
It’s becoming increasingly clear to businesses and local Chambers of Commerce that the U.S. Chamber’s radically partisan agenda is against their interests.