Baca sides with Hispanic group in legal battle

Rep. Joe Baca (D-Calif.), chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, has sent a letter to Thomas Donohue, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, asking him to coexist peacefully with the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC).

The U.S. Chamber has sued the Hispanic Chamber over its use of the words “United States” and “Chamber of Commerce.”

“There is no question that the term ‘United States’ and ‘Chamber of Commerce’ are widely used and have become part of the American mainstream,” Baca wrote.

“The inclusion of the word ‘Hispanic’ symbolically and logically fosters the unquestionable understanding that the USHCC is comprised of Hispanic-owned businesses and will promote Hispanic initiatives.”

Rep. Albio Sires (D-N.J.), chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’s Economic Development Task Force, also signed the letter.

In March, Stephen Bokat, then-general counsel of the U.S. Chamber, told The Hill that his organization was trying to protect its name and offered to license it to the Hispanic Chamber for a “nominal sum.”