USTR Launches New Effort to Help U.S. Small Businesses Export to the European Union-Small Businesses to Offer Suggestions for Increasing Exports under the Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership

Washington, D.C. – U.S. small businesses currently exporting to the European Union (EU) will have the opportunity to voice their concerns on existing barriers to trade with the EU through a series of roundtables across the country. The roundtables will be held as part of broader outreach efforts under the recently launched U.S.-EU Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) (link is external) negotiations. The objective of the roundtables is to listen to and better understand small business’ suggestions on how to reduce and eliminate those barriers, and help expand U.S. small business exports to the EU.

In July, the United States and the European Union held the first round of T-TIP negotiations aimed at increasing jobs, economic growth, and international competitiveness on both sides of the Atlantic. The transatlantic economic relationship is already the world’s largest, accounting for one third of total goods and services trade and nearly half of global economic output, while supporting 13 million U.S. and EU jobs. In both the United States and the EU, small and medium businesses are critical motors of growth, job creation, and innovation. Negotiators intend to conclude an agreement that recognizes the important role small businesses play in the transatlantic relationship and enhances their ability to participate in and benefit from new trade and investment opportunities.

The roundtables were commissioned by the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), which asked the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) to conduct a study on the existing trade barriers that disproportionately affect U.S. small business exporters. Since the President’s National Export Initiative (NEI) goal to double exports by the end of 2014 has focused on increasing the current base of 295,000 small business exporters, an increase in small business participation could result in increased trade between two regions whose two-way trade already exceeds $630 billion.

USITC responded by organizing the T-TIP roundtables, which will be held from September 9th through September 27th in key cities. If you’d like to take part in a roundtable, please contact sme@usitc.gov (link sends e-mail) for more information.

In addition to participating in the roundtables, exporters will have other means to convey their concerns and suggestions through public hearings in San Jose, California (September 26th) and Washington, D.C. (October 8th). Business owners who are interested in having their voices heard but cannot attend the roundtables or public hearings can submit written statements by sending an email to sme@usitc.gov (link sends e-mail) (by October 15, 2013) or by mail to EU-SME Project, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20436 (no later than September 30, 2013).

For more detailed information, visit ww.usitc.gov/secretary/fed_reg_notices/332/332_541_notice07252013sgl.pdf .

For more information on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and U.S trade with the European Union, visit http://www.USTR.gov/TTIP

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