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The US Chamber of Commerce describes itself as the world’s largest business federation representing 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations. More than 96% of US Chamber members are small businesses with 100 employees or fewer. Although a member of the US Chamber, AmCham Germany is entirely independent in its governance and finances from the US Chamber.
The US Chamber is consistently one of the top lobbyist organizations in Washington, DC, measured by dollars spent. Under CEO Tom Donohue’s leadership, the Chamber has also emerged as a major player in election politics, helping elect congressional pro-business candidates through financial support and voter activism and turnout generated through the Chamber’s grassroots organization, VoteForBusiness.com
The Chamber has one of the largest teams of lobbyists, policy experts, and communications specialists in Washington, DC. The Chamber has advanced the business argument on outsourcing and the need for balance in applying new corporate governance and accounting rules, among other issues.
On the international front, the US Chamber cooperates with 112 American Chambers of Commerce from 99 countries. It is strongly pro-trade and advocates knocking down trade barriers, winning new free trade agreements and fighting protectionism both at home and abroad. Through its public policy think tank, the National Chamber Foundation, the Chamber impacts the Washington policy debates on issues such as intellectual property theft and counterfeiting, corporate governance and accounting rules, and travel and tourism.
Tom Donohue became CEO in 1997, and has built the Chamber into a lobbying and political force with expanded influence at home and greater outreach internationally. Since Donohue’s arrival, the Chamber has tripled its annual revenues.
AmChams in Europe (the European Council of American Chambers of Commerce) is a network of chambers across Europe. Its mission is to exchange best practice ideas, mutual member company benefits and to provide a forum for discussion, debate and where necessary representation on issues relevant to the European business environment.
Founded in 1963, AmChams in Europe today represents the corporate interests of more than 17.000 American and European companies, based in 41 countries and employing more than 20 million people. AmChams in Europe’s member companies account for more than $1.1 trillion in investment on both sides of the Atlantic. Membership of AmChams in Europe is not defined by geographical borders but by the willingness and ability to contribute to the network, as well as the basic requirement of being accredited by the US Chamber of Commerce.
Member Chambers of the Council are voluntary associations supported entirely by membership dues. In addition, all Member Chambers are members of the US Chamber of Commerce and work closely with its International Division to coordinate policy and strategy.
From 2004 to 2008, former AmCham Germany General Manager, Dierk Müller, held the position of Vice-Chair of ECACC, thus bringing the Secretariat of the venerable organization to AmCham Germany's Frankfurt am Main office. The Vice-Chairman is responsible for the organization and management of ECACC, working in coordination with the executive committee. The Secretariat is now located at AmCham EU.