Never underestimate the importance of our industry associations

I had mentioned in a previous column that the Canadian Printing Industries Association (CPIA, Toronto) had launched a newly restructured organization in Canada. Its new framework will enable the non-profit organization to provide a national voice and platform for the printing industry – and to serve as an important connection point for Canadian regional associations, the supplier community, and graphic arts post-secondary educational programs. Members of the CPIA within this new structure will consist of six regional print associations, one supplier association and an ‘at-large position’ representing the Atlantic provinces. The seven CPIA members are: PrintForward Printing and Imaging Association; Printing and Graphics Industries Association of Alberta (PGIA); Saskatchewan Printing Industries Association (SPIA); Manitoba Print Industries Association (MPIA); Ontario Printing Industries Association (OPIA); Quebec Association of the Printing Industry (AQII); and the Printing Equipment and Supply Dealers of Canada (PESDA).

Now while industry associations provide ‘traditional’ benefits to their members – such as special discounts, meetings, seminars, trends’ analysis, whitepapers, knowledge sharing and important annual events – one key aspect that’s often overlooked is government lobbying on behalf of their members. To my mind, there was no clearer evidence of the importance of this than recent actions taken by our southern neighbours to seek relief from a 10% tariff on aluminum imposed by the Trump administration’s Department of Commerce (DOC), which has proved devastating to many printers on both sides of the border.

In a bold move, the Printing Industries of America (PIA), along with industry stakeholders, joined forces to exert tremendous pressure on Congress and the DOC. In the end, individual manufacturers of aluminum imported for use in printing and publishing equipment received a temporary exclusion. The announcement also came with a commitment by plate manufacturers that customers negatively affected by increased production costs will be reimbursed. This is welcome news – and will affect many printers in Canada as well.

My point is this: We’re stronger when we all work together to achieve our common goals. That’s why we’ll always need the CPIA. So my final question is: Are you a member?


Until next time, always remember that we’re here to help.



Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.