SBE Council’s Top 5 Facts About Small Business and International Trade

By at 25 May, 2016, 3:15 pm


Washington, D.C. – With May being World Trade Month, and various World Trade Days being celebrated this week across the United States, the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) released its “Top 5 Facts About Small Business and International Trade.”

Top 5 Facts About Small Business and International Trade

ONE: Small and mid-size businesses account for most exporting firms. In 2014 (based on latest Census Bureau data), 97.7 percent of identified U.S. exporters had less than 500 employees, 87.0 percent fewer than 50 workers, and 76.6 percent less than 20 employees.

TWO: Small and mid-size manufacturers account for most manufacturing exporters. In 2014, 96.5 percent of identified U.S. exporting manufacturers had less than 500 employees, 74.4 percent fewer than 50 workers, and 55.8 percent less than 20 employees.

THREE: Small and mid-size businesses account for most U.S. importing firms. In 2014, 97.1 percent of identified U.S. importers had less than 500 workers, 85.2 percent less than 50 employees, and 74.7 percent less than 20 workers.

FOUR: Free trade agreements benefit the U.S. economy and small businesses. The U.S. has overwhelmingly experienced solid-to-robust real growth in exports to 17 of the 20 nations with which the U.S. has free trade agreements. That is, from the year before each trade accord was put into effect to 2015, U.S. real exports showed strong growth in 17 of those 20 nations, which translates into expanded opportunity and growth for the small businesses that overwhelmingly populate the U.S. exporting sector.

FIVE: Small businesses would benefit from the approval of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The data make clear that reducing barriers to U.S. exports among TPP nations will create and expand opportunities for U.S. small businesses. According to the International Trade Administration, for example, 97 percent of exporters to TPP nations have less than 500 employees.  For details on the TPP and small business please click here.  In addition, see SBE Council president & CEO Karen Kerrigan’s interview in “About” on the Top Five Benefits of TPP for Small Business.

SBE Council chief economist Raymond J. Keating noted, “Expanding international trade means expanding opportunities for entrepreneurs, U.S. small businesses and their employees. The U.S. needs to regain its global leadership role of advancing free trade agreements. That’s critical to U.S. economic growth and global growth.”

For information or resources about doing business overseas, visit SBE Council’s Going Global resources page here.


SBE Council is a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy, research and education organization that works to protect small business and promote entrepreneurship. To learn more, visit SBE Council’s website: Follow on Twitter: @SBECouncil

Contact: Raymond J. Keating

631-909-1122 or 703-242-5840


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