TREE CARE INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION
ANTI-TRUST COMPLIANCE POLICY
The Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) is committed to operating within the spirit of all federal, state, and applicable international trade regulations and antitrust laws. Activity contrary to this policy is unacceptable, whether in its members, staff, or leadership.
To foster the intent of operating appropriately, TCIA will adhere to the following policy and will publish it to its members, staff, and leaders on an annual basis.
All meetings of the Association, Board Meetings, and Task Force or Committee Meetings will be conducted with agendas distributed in advance. Discussions shall be limited to agenda items, unless the participants agree to an addition. There shall be no substantive discussions of Association matters other than at official meetings, with minutes being distributed to attendees promptly.
- All association activities, meetings, or discussions will be refrained from which are, or could be construed to be, for the purpose of:
- raising, lowering, or stabilizing prices including, but not limited to, current or future prices, pricing procedures, cash discounts, credit terms, costs, or fair profit or margin levels
- regulating production levels or schedules or concerning production facilities, capacity, or sales volume
- restricting customer or supplier classification, allocation, or selection
- limiting trade via distribution methods or channels
- allocating markets, territories, or customers or control of sales or market share in general
- encouraging boycotts or exclusions of products or services
- fostering unfair trade practices including advertising, merchandising, standardization, certification, accreditation, decisions to quote or not, or encouraging anyone to refrain from competing
- assisting in monopolization, including limiting or excluding anyone from manufacture, sale, or practice
- resulting in illegal brokerage or rebates
- affecting improper reciprocity in dealing
- refusing to deal with a firm because of its pricing or distribution practices
- discussing whether or not the pricing practices of any industry member are unethical or constitute an unfair trade practice
- violating federal, state, or applicable international trade regulations and anti-trust laws
- Association counsel shall receive a copy of the agenda of all meetings in
advance, will review minutes of all association meetings, will advise on proposed policies and activities of the association, and may be in attendance should there be any discussion that could lend itself to requiring clarification of appropriate conversation.
- All Board, staff, and committee leaders will be apprised of the possible basic areas of anti-trust violation of concern to associations and are responsible for maintaining a basic knowledge and monitoring adherence to the association’s anti-trust policy. These include: membership (restrictions, classes and sections, termination, and membership services to nonmembers), business or professional codes and self-regulation, statistical programs, prices and fees of members, cost programs, standardization, product certification, joint research, credit reporting, group buying and selling, export activities, professional credentialing (certification and accreditation), and approaches to government.
- Any member participating in conduct that the Board of Directors, by a two-thirds majority, determines to be contrary to the association’s compliance policy shall be subject to disciplinary measures, up to and including termination. Should a violation be brought to the Board’s attention, a procedure of due diligence will be followed including written notification of the matter and an opportunity to respond to the charges and attend a hearing on the matter in person. Termination procedures would be followed as outlined in the Association’s bylaws. The President shall be responsible for implementing disciplinary actions with staff.
MEMBER ANTI-TRUST DO’S AND DON’TS
DO be familiar with the TCIA anti-trust policy.
- DO schedule and attend meetings only where there are appropriate agenda items for the Association to be considering. DO NOT participate in secret meetings, as they could seriously jeopardize legitimate Association activities and create a risk that they will be investigated.
- DO speak up if the discussion moves into inappropriate territory; request the conversation to cease; and remove yourself from the room should the remainder of the participants continue.
- DO keep minutes of the meetings, report only actions taken and not discussion, have the attorney review them, and distribute them to the attendees promptly.
- DO use the Association as a vehicle for promoting the industry as a whole.
- DO seek legal counsel should sensitive subjects be up for Association discussion.
- DON’T establish programs or guidelines that are for the primary purpose, explicit or implicit, of excluding some members of the industry.
- DON’T, without specific authorization, make public or private communications about policies or positions of the Association.