Small and mid-size U.S. businesses overwhelmingly dominate the trade landscape, but the U.S. has dramatically slowed its work in cutting and finalizing new trade agreements.
Our major competitors have outpaced the U.S. with regard to signing new trade accords, putting U.S. businesses at a competitive disadvantage across the globe. On October 21, President Obama finally signed trade agreements with Panama, Columbia and South Korea, which have been in the works for many years.
The accords will eliminate tariffs on most U.S. exports to these countries and open service markets to American businesses. It is expected that U.S. exports will increase by $11 billion as a result of the South Korea pact alone.
These agreements also include strong IP protections for American businesses. Increasingly, U.S. entrepreneurs are looking overseas for growth opportunities. A survey released by the Financial Services Forum and SBE Council in November 2011 found that 21 percent of small businesses will pursue overseas expansion as part of their growth strategy for the next five years.
The signing of these three trade accords should fuel momentum for finalizing other important agreements that will open new markets for U.S. good and services, benefitting the economy, small businesses and workers alike.
Source - Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council