The United States National Committee for the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics has a close relationship with the AGU. They were born together in 1919 when the AGU was founded as a vehicle for U.S. participation in the IUGG. They separated in 1972 when the AGU became an individual corporate entity; the U.S. National Committee appropriately remained a part of the National Academy of Sciences.
The USNC/IUGG actively represents U.S. interests in the Union and assures U.S. participation in Union activities. It formulates and advances U.S. positions on a variety of administrative matters that require attention if the Union is to serve geophysics well. The dispute over how China was to be represented in the Union and whether Taiwan could be separately represented is a recent example of a question on which the committee took strong action. The committee also considers areas such as financing, voting, and distribution of publications. All member countries have one vote in the Union, except on financial matters, for which voting strength is roughly a log function of the dues one pays. On financial questions the U.S. has 10 votes, and the next highest countries have eight. At $24,000 per year the U.S. pays 50% more dues than the next highest countries, $16,000 for Great Britain, West Germany, and France; Russia and Japan pay $12,000 each and have seven votes.