Karen Kerrigan on Radio America: Why Small Businesses Could Win Big Under USMCA

By at 27 January, 2020, 11:02 pm

On January 29, President Trump will sign the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). The Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) strongly supported and advocated for USMCA’s passage, as the modernization of NAFTA along with the emergence and growth of the digital economy require a new framework to help boost trade, efficiencies, protections and opportunity for American businesses of all sizes. And this is especially the case for small businesses and entrepreneurs.

SBE Council president & CEO Karen Kerrigan recently joined Greg Corombos on Radio America to discuss the significant benefits of USMCA.  In the discussion, Karen highlighted:

● The importance of the digital chapter in USMCA, which prohibits customs duties and discriminatory taxes from being imposed on digital products, such as ebooks, videos, music, software and video games, for example.  Karen also hit on the importance of raising de minimis shipment values, which exempts duties and taxes on shipments under a certain dollar amount. Both Mexico and Canada have agreed to raise the de minimis level, directly benefitting small businesses that ship packages into these markets.

● Red tape will be reduced and streamlined at the border, and customs procedures made more efficient and transparent. That means costs will be reduced. Lower costs and less bureaucracy mean small business will be able to better compete in these markets, and makes expansion into either or both markets a more practical and profitable option for entrepreneurs.

● Chapter 25 is dedicated to small businesses. This is the first time a chapter in a trade agreement signed by the U.S. includes such a chapter. Countries are required to establish online portals and assistance to provide small businesses with help in accessing these markets. The chapter also provides small businesses with a permanent stakeholder “voice” in identifying new or emerging barriers and challenges that may hamper their ability to access markets.

● New and stronger intellectual property (IP) protections for copyrights, trade secrets, patents and the like, providing entrepreneurs and small businesses with protections and recourse if IP theft occurs.

Listen to the full interview here.

Karen briefly touched upon “Phase One” of the trade agreement with China. She said the business community is relieved to see progress, and underscored the IP part of the agreement, stressing its importance given the vast amount of IP theft attributable to China.

President Trump will sign USMCA at the White House on January 29, and Karen will be present for the signing.

For additional information about USMCA and how it benefits small businesses, read the recent blog post by Big Ideas for Small Business® founder Barbara Weltman, “How Small Businesses Benefit from USMCA.”  


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