Established in 1912, the United States Chamber of Commerce (USCC), based in Washington, DC, represents the interests of more than 3 million enterprises of all sorts and sizes, making it the world’s largest business organization. Supporting a global network of American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) branches in 108 countries worldwide, the largest of which is currently AmCham China, the USCC operates on the proceeds collected from membership dues each year. The USCC may also conduct political advocacy initiatives on behalf of its members because it is registered as a 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization.
As America’s largest lobbyist group in the federal legislature, the USCC spends far more dollars on advocacy issues and lobbying than all other lobbyist organizations attempting to persuade Congressional legislators (approximately $74 million in 2013). Consequently, the USCC has prompted political controversy for many years because anyone may apply to become a member of the USCC, including non-citizens who own US-registered enterprises.