FACT OF THE WEEK: Small Business Is International Business

By at 22 September, 2016, 11:50 am

Businesswoman in harbour

In one of the strangest election seasons in our nation’s history, one issue that seems to unite the two leading party candidates is a hostility toward free trade and U.S. trade agreements. That, of course, is unfortunate, distressing and, especially if acted on, extremely dangerous for the U.S. economy, including small business.

While international trade always has been critical, it is now a central factor in our economy and its growth. And make no mistake, trade very much is about small business, as noted by the fact that, for example, 98 percent of U.S. exporters are small and medium-size companies.

For good measure, consider some key findings from a recent survey of U.S. small and medium-size businesses that Researchscape performed for USForex:

• 96% of smaller businesses are confident in doing business internationally;

• 58% have international customers (the top nations where global customers are located are Canada, the UK, Mexico, Japan and China);

• 50% have international suppliers;

• a third have international employees;

• 72% expect to acquire new international customers over the coming 12 months;

• and 52% expect to take on new international suppliers and vendors in the coming 12 months.

This is an impressive snapshot of small business being active in the global marketplace. It also speaks to the need for the U.S. to re-establish itself as the world’s leader in advancing free trade, including reducing or eliminating tariffs, eliminating quotas, cutting back on regulations and red tape that serve as barriers to trade, and enhancing protection of intellectual property in the international marketplace. 

Raymond J. Keating, Chief Economist


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