NAWLA ANTI-TRUST GUIDELINES
The purpose of the North American Wholesale Lumber Association (NAWLA) is to foster, promote, improve, further and enhance high standards of efficiency and cooperation for the betterment of the entire forest products industry and to do all such lawful acts and things necessary to further the best interests of the forest products industry.
As a trade association, NAWLA is subject to both federal and state anti‑trust laws. As a matter of law, a trade association and its members stand in the same position under the anti‑trust laws as any other group of persons or firms. Thus, the legality of association activities is judged by the same standards as are applied to other entities.
NAWLA therefore recognizes the need to be constantly vigilant to assure full compliance in all respects with the anti‑trust laws and in furtherance thereof hereby endorses the basic principles contained in this guide for members and staff of the association.
- All association meetings shall be regularly scheduled. Secret or “rump” meetings shall be strictly avoided.
- In conducting NAWLA meetings, the chairman thereof shall prepare and follow a formal agenda which shall be reviewed in advance by legal counsel.
- Minutes of all meetings shall be kept by a designated party who shall accurately portray what actions were taken at the meeting. Minutes of all meetings shall be approved by legal counsel and shall be submitted to the group for approval at its next meeting.
- Legal counsel shall be present at all meetings of the Association’s Board of Directors and at any other meeting at which sensitive issues may be discussed.
- In informal or social discussions at the site of a NAWLA meeting, which are beyond the control of its officers and chairmen, all members and staff are expected to observe the same standards of personal conduct required of the association in its compliance with these anti‑trust guidelines.
TOPICS OF DISCUSSION
- NAWLA activities or communications shall include discussion or action on matters of general interest to the industry.
- No NAWLA activity or communication shall include discussion or action, for any purposes or in any fashion, of prices or pricing methods, production quotas or other limitations on production or of sales.
- No NAWLA activity or communication shall include discussion or action which might be construed as an attempt to prevent any person or entity from gaining access to any market or to any customer for goods or services, or to prevent or boycott any business entity from obtaining a supply of goods or otherwise purchasing goods or services freely in the market.
- No NAWLA activity or communication shall include discussion or action which might be construed as an agreement or understanding to refrain from purchasing materials, equipment, services or other supplies from any supplier.
- No NAWLA activity or communication shall include discussion or action which would tend to restrict competition in any manner between members or within the industry generally.
- Any firm meeting the requirements of membership as set forth in the By‑Laws shall be admitted to membership in NAWLA on a non‑discriminatory basis.
- No member of the association shall have authority to represent that he is communicating on behalf of and as an official representative of the association without prior approval of the association.
- Participation in any and all association activities by a member company is wholly voluntary. NAWLA shall conduct all statistical functions on a voluntary basis and all data collected from individual companies shall be treated confidentially and reported in composite form.
- No firm shall be expelled from membership except for just cause, and in such manner as is established in the By‑Laws to assure that such expulsion is fair, objective, reasonable and non‑discriminatory.
GENERAL OPERATING PROCEDURES
- Guest speakers at association functions and authors of association materials shall be informed of the need to comply with association anti‑trust guidelines in the preparation and presentation of matters to the membership.
- Handouts at meetings conducted by the association shall be reviewed in advance by legal counsel.
- NAWLA legal counsel shall make regular reports, at appropriate association meetings and in periodic association communications, of current anti‑trust law developments.
- In making this guide available to association members, NAWLA intends it to serve as a practical aid to members and staff in dealing with the anti‑trust laws which have particular application to association activities. The guide is by no means an attempt to provide a detailed analysis of the anti‑trust laws or as a substitute for individual legal advice in handling specific matters.
- Just as membership and participation in NAWLA activities is a good investment for members, so too is an effective anti‑trust compliance program good investment for the members of the association.