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Smaller associations seek to leave impression in tariff talks

With hundreds of organizations weighing in, groups rely on targeted messaging and member companies to make their points


Aug. 31, 2018
By Walt Williams

Business groups of all sizes are clamoring for the attention of the Trump administration as it moves forward with proposed tariffs on billions of dollars in Chinese imports. That means smaller associations need to be creative with their messaging to be heard above the din.

Tom Cove, CEO of the Sports & Fitness Industry Association, was one of more than 300 people who testified over six days in late August before a U.S. Trade Representative panel in Washington, D.C. His message: Large sporting goods companies may be able to shift their production from China to the U.S., but most of the smaller and midsize companies his association represents cannot absorb the cost.