January 10, 2012
by Bob Meyer, Editor of BarterNews
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IRTA Completes Record
(This article was
submitted by Ron Whitney, Executive Director of IRTA.)
There is no question that 2011 was a very good year for the
International Reciprocal Trade Association. We have enjoyed a number
of triumphs and successes, however, along with these achievements,
2011 presented substantial challenges as well. Most notably, in May
we lost our dear friend and greatly revered president and leader,
Although we lost his daily guidance, IRTA has not lost his vision
nor the momentum achieved by his guidance. David believed it was
IRTA�s unequivocal destiny, as the world organization for the modern
trade and barter industry, to enlighten businesses across the globe
to the profit producing benefits that the barter industry provides.
He realized that by utilizing the non-productive assets of excess
inventory and/or capacity, our industry will undoubtedly raise the
standard of living for everyone.
IRTA Global Board of Directors is proud to report the many
highlights of 2011:
membership grew over 20% both in North America and globally. This
growth was achieved during the most difficult economic climate the
world has faced in many years.
IRTA convention was a huge success! Held in a luxurious
four-and-a-half star all-inclusive resort in Mexico, this convention
saw record breaking attendance and included a number of highly
informative and educational seminars that were praised universally
by the attendees.
the very active Membership and Universal Currency Committees, both
IRTA and UC exceeded revenue projections for the year.
Board worked diligently and developed a �Conflict of Interest�
section for the organization�s bylaws.
committed funds for the implementation of an aggressive and
multi-faceted social media program that we look forward to seeing
develop in the coming year.
Board wrote and passed a new, tougher, and clearer �Code of Ethics
and Conduct� for the organization.
Executive Director Ron Whitney, attended the roll-out of the City of
London�s study, �Capacity Trade and Credit,� and through Mr.
Whitney, helped contribute to the research in the study�s
retained a new public relations consultant in anticipation of
substantially increasing industry recognition in the press
Currency set an all-time annual trading record, as well as a record
setting number of trade exchange participants.
worked meticulously to keep in close contact with the U.S. Attorney
General and the IRS in regards to the Liberty Dollars verdict.
Executive Director Ron Whitney was proactive in preventing any harm
from coming to the modern trade and barter industry. In order to
increase awareness, IRTA issued a press release on this matter.
library has archived a number of informative materials, dating back
to 1979, concerning the industry and the organization. This
considerable collection has always been available to current IRTA
members for their use within their organization, but was made more
accessible via a new tab on the IRTA web site.
closing, the association would like to take the opportunity to thank
all of our current and future members for their contribution in
making 2011 a record-setting year for IRTA and UC. The organization
as a whole has shown exceptional growth and strong financials which
support future growth for all members.
have seen an improving environment that we anticipate will encourage
many more businesses to utilize barter as a part of their business
plan. There have been a growing number of start-up trade and barter
groups, as well. This growth is encouraging to us, however, we are
concerned that the new exchange operators will not understand the
challenges they will face and the resources they will need to obtain
in order to achieve profitability.
order to prevent potential challenges, IRTA welcomes trade
exchanges, corporate trade organizations, and community currencies
to affiliate with IRTA and the �Code of Ethics & Conduct� of its
members. IRTA wishes to share its accumulated knowledge from model
contracts to accounting standards with all participants of the
Whitney is confident that new members will quickly learn what our
current IRTA members already know: IRTA is not an expense nor a
cost, but rather an investment in their business, that pays
significant financial and professional dividends.
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ECCO Symposium Discusses Offset Benefits
Defense expenditure in Europe, measured as a percentage of GDP, has
decreased in the past twenty years. The defense industry has to
restructure to ensure that companies become capable partners in the
European defense market.
defense and sensitive security procurement
and Article 346 of the Treaty on the
Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) form two pillars of this
restructuring and were the main topics at the latest ECCO (European
Club for Countertrade and Offset) symposium in Brussels, Belgium.
The 90 attendees represented 17 countries.
debated issues related to the
Equipment Market (EDEM) and defense
procurement in EU. The European Commission stated that
European Union (EU) industries are significantly dependent on EU
member states� spending and that an industrial restructuring at the
European level is needed as a first step to create an EDEM.
To reach this goal, however, an adequate legislative framework has
to be created.
the implementation of the Directive were discussed in presentations
made by the European Commission, as well as in the roundtable
discussions where attendees could raise questions and debate
Directive was implemented to counter:
Fragmentation of the defense market
competitiveness on a worldwide market
aim of the Directive is to establish a competitive EDEM and an
efficient European Defense Technological and Industrial Base (EDTIB).
Czech Republic, Denmark, Greece, France, Lithuania, Malta, Portugal,
Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom have officially transposed the
Member states that have not yet written the Directive into national
law have until the first quarter of 2012 to announce their
TFEU mentions that the internal market is built on fundamental
freedoms and principles prioritizing equal treatment. According to
EU Primary Law there needs to be free movement of goods, persons,
services and capital, while non-discrimination and transparency need
to be assured. Offset is seen as contracting the basic Treaty
principles, because it discriminates on the basis of nationality and
impedes free movement of goods and services.
only possible justification for Offset can therefore be found in Art
346 TFEU, and the Offset requirement itself needs to fulfill the
conditions for its use.
However, the �catch-all� approach can no longer be tolerated as it
is incompatible with EU law. The new approach is to move away from
compensation logic to focus on capability and security requirements.
The new Directive offers possibilities to achieve security of
supply, operational sovereignty and market access for local
industries. Article 346 is included if it is necessary to address
national security measures.
Representatives from two EU countries explained how they are
applying the Directive and interpreting Art 346.
Further debates included the question whether the Directive will
really open in Europe, and discussions of how national security
vastly differ from one member state to the next.
the second day, a collection of presenters shared fundamental
reasons for implementing Offset policies. Speakers� presentations
detailed how Malaysia, Israel, India and Czech Republic, benefited
from Offset. The impact of direct and indirect Offset, respectively,
on a company�s strategy and activities were investigated and shared
by two different speakers.
next ECCO Symposium will coincide with the Eurosatory 2012 trade
show in Paris, France. The forum presentations will focus on Offset
in Brazil, while the workshop with look at the role of SMEs in
ECCO is an association for European companies, individuals and
institutions involved in Offset and countertrade. The association
organizes symposiums where members and guests can unravel matters
related to trade, international law and government procurement.
Offset research and training are also aims of ECCO.
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