US leather associations, two of them, are going to join forces for several reasons: many companies are members of both associations, which often strive to achieve the same goals and safeguard common interests, despite their acting from different standpoints in the same industry. Hence LIA (the association of US tanners) and USHSLA (the American association of traders of tanning hides and skins) are going to set a merger deal that is due to come to completion by the end of 2019. They announced their decision after a joint conference, held in Chicago on September 26-27. Stephen Sothmann, who is currently appointed as president of USHSLA, will be the chief executive officer of the new association; as for John Wittenborn, chairman of LIA, he is about to retire at the end of 2019. Both associations are now supposed to formally ratify the merger agreement. “US leather and its supply chain rely nowadays, more than in the past, on very important business interests – remarked Sothmann in a press release –. By joining forces, USHSLA and LIA will upgrade and enhance the new association, which is bound to be the leading representative of the industry, both in the United States and abroad”.