10 Reasons to Join
1. AWA is your early-warning system
AWA members receive timely, accurate analysis of government requirements, as well as reports on proposed legislation and regulations. Washington and the States are churning out dozens of laws and regulations controlling the chemical content of watch products – – from caps on lead in brass components to bans on certain dyes in leather bands. AWA publishes a comprehensive analysis of all toxic-materials statutes and a guide to compliance. AWA members also enjoy detailed reports on tax and trade issues affecting their companies, including a forecast of the likelihood of a new excise tax on watches as well as the outlook for the corporate and personal tax proposals.
2. We are the watch industry’s fire department
Almost our entire annual budget goes to lobbying for our members’ interests and monitoring of governmental agencies to spot opportunities for our members and to put out harmful fires. For instance, the Association has met with the U.S. Trade Representative to prevent the United States from accepting narrow trade agreements for watches that would exclude many, if not most, other watches. USTR officials have endorsed our plea for trade negotiations for all watches. A successful trade agreement for all watches would save the industry more than $160 million in U.S. import duties every year.
3. AWA Washington victories are tailored to AWA members’ interests
AWA’s Washington attorneys at the Covington & Burling law firm have provided a compelling legal strategy that our member companies use to gain exemption from the Consumer Product Safety Commission lead and hazardous materials certifications placed on watches. That highly successful strategy was developed exclusively for AWA members. As CPSC laws and regulations expand over the next few years, AWA members can continue to rely on the best legal advice to avoid having to label their products with unnecessary warnings that could scare off customers.
4. Our members enjoy an unparalleled record of AWA success
Among dozens of recent victories, AWA has won exemptions in over a dozen states for its members that use mercury-added batteries to power their watches. And AWA’s efforts have resulted in watch import duties dropping from over 50 percent in the 1970s to approximately 5 percent today, affording consumers the widest spectrum of quality watch products at the most affordable prices.
5. AWA Membership pays for itself
AWA members receive legal and lobbying benefits whose value exceeds the costs of annual dues. For instance, AWA member companies have access to formal legal opinions from our attorneys at the blue-chip Washington law firm Covington & Burling, exempting them from onerous Federal regulations concerning hazardous materials rules. AWA members, and only AWA members, have been able to use these opinions in dealings with major jewelry retailers. Moreover, AWA is working to secure U.S. import duty cuts that specifically benefit our member companies.
6. AWA is a powerful coalition
The AWA is able to exert much greater influence in Washington and the States than individual watch companies can alone. Two examples prove this point. First, AWA is lobbying the Federal government to eliminate watch import tariffs for its members, tailoring the cuts to benefit our members’ interests foremost. Second, we provide a vehicle for our members to submit government-required in aggregate format, thus allowing companies to protect their confidential operating information.
7. AWA activities benefit the whole watch industry
Companies cannot take a “free ride” on our work without hurting everybody. That is like gray marketeers who sap the vitality of authorized distributors while free-riding on their promotional work.
8. AWA is the focal point for the watch industry’s fight against intellectual property fraud
Our attorneys drafted the Anti-counterfeiting Consumer Protection Act enacted by Congress in 1996. We recently filed strong testimony before the U.S. Supreme Court that helped Omega stop gray-market imports. Our fight against intellectual property fraud continues.
9. Our Members are the elite of the industry
AWA members include the great majority of the leading watch brands (see members page). Your company and brand should be on the list.
10. AWA is a meeting place for industry leaders
Our exclusive Annual Dinner in May and Annual Members Meeting in October provide the ideal setting for top watch executives to meet their counterparts in other companies.