When Americans think of trade, we tend to focus on large, world-leading multinationals. We usually don’t think of a small food exporter like Pacific Valley Foods, which started in a couple’s home office, or of The Pro’s Closet, an online global reseller of used biking gear founded by a pro cyclist. But, like these businesses, 98 percent of U.S. exporters are actually small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and these smaller traders account for over one-third of U.S. exports.
SMEs that export are also economic powerhouses—they hire more employees, pay higher wages, and are more resilient and productive than their non-exporting counterparts. And, since only about five percent of American SMEs currently export, the United States has significant untapped potential to drive growth and support good jobs by increasing small business trade.
In a previous issue brief, we explained how the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP) would boost U.S. small business exports by clearing away significant foreign trade barriers and by mandating reforms that would make exporting fairer, faster, cheaper, and more certain for America’s smaller firms.