On Tuesday, the boards of directors of AeA (formerly the American Electronics Association) and the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) announced that they have each approved the merger of the two trade associations' memberships and programs. The combined associations will become The Technology Association of America. The merger, which will close by the end of the year, will give rise to a stronger voice for the technology industry by bringing together the largest number of tech companies throughout the United States.
In a November letter to President-Elect Barack Obama, ITAA CEO Philip J. Bond forwarded a new age of innovation for America, and credited Obama for his "clear appreciation for American innovation as a powerful force" in addressing the challenges of security, jobs and the global marketplace.
"For all of its impact on everyday life, the technology industry has had insufficient clout in Washington and the state capitals -- until now," said ITAA Chairman Hank Steininger. "Together, our associations will become the clear leader, continuing a chain of consolidation that ITAA began in January."
"With the onset of a new year, we are faced with many obstacles and opportunities," said AeA Chairman Peter J. Boni. "The consolidation of these two great associations offers the technology industry a strong voice on Capitol Hill and extends the new administration a united partner to foster innovation and address the challenges ahead."
The new organization, representing approximately 2,000 member companies, will advocate on technology issues in state capitals across the country and provide programs in every industry center. AeA's extensive network of regional councils across the U.S., combined with ITAA's alliances with over 16,000 companies through 40 regional associations with the Technology Councils of North America (TECNA), will provide an unrivaled national presence. The two associations will bring that network to Washington, DC through a united federal lobbying operation. An exclusive membership in the World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA) - a network of 69 technology associations in countries around the world - and offices in Beijing and Brussels will round out the Technology Association of America's robust, grassroots-to-global capability for the technology industry at large.