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08/06/2014 - 1:00pm

By Christina Sevilla, Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Small Business

In the United States and in the European Union, small and medium businesses are the backbone of the economy and critical motors of growth and job creation. Small businesses that export grow faster, add jobs faster, and pay higher wages than small companies in the same sector that serve purely domestic markets. Helping more small and medium enterprises do business and find partners across the Atlantic, and unlocking opportunities for more jobs and growth on both sides, is a key objective of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP).

As President Obama has said, “the trade and investment partnership that we are pursuing between the European Union and the United States is a major opportunity to build on millions of jobs on both sides of the Atlantic already supported by U.S.-E.U. trade. Such an agreement would result in more trade, more jobs and more export opportunities, including for small businesses.”   For U.S. small and medium companies, the EU represents a considerable market, with over 92,000 U.S. small businesses across the fifty states exporting there in 2012.

In July, following on the 6th round of T-TIP negotiations in Brussels, I met with small and medium companies in Germany, Austria and Luxembourg already doing business with the United States and expecting that the T-TIP will further reduce costly tariff and non-tariff barriers, creating new opportunities for growth.  Based on expectations of increased customer sales, these European small and medium firms are opening plants and operations in Mississippi, Alabama, and Pennsylvania, creating high-wage jobs for U.S. workers in manufacturing, engineering, and sales.

Feuer L to R: Dept. of Commerce’s Lori Cooper, Feuer Powertrain CEO Bernd Gulden, USTR’s Christina Sevilla

With the assistance of the U.S. Consulate General in Leipzig, Germany, I visited the Feuer Powertrain company in Nordhausen, Germany, which manufactures engine components in five plants.  Due to increasing North American demand and expected increases in sales with the T-TIP, Feuer’s CEO Bernd Gulden has made the company’s first foreign investment in Tunica, Mississippi, erecting a new plant, in which V8 engine motor parts will be manufactured. Forty employees from the Mississippi and Tennessee region will be hired this year, and in four to five years that number is expected to grow to 300.  Feuer Powertrain finds that a skilled labor force and lower energy costs make the U.S. an attractive place to invest, and expects to train new workers and establish an apprenticeship program with local Mississippi technical colleges and high school graduates. Mr. Gulden said that retaining highly-skilled workers is important to the success of his company, and therefore he intends to set wages significantly higher than the prevailing wage in the Mississippi Delta region. 

FertingerL to R: Fertinger CEO Veit Schmid-Schmidfelsen, USTR’s Christina Sevilla, and Fertinger manufacturing worker Katharina Scherlak

With the assistance of the U.S. Embassy in Vienna, I also visited Fertinger company, a small and medium business with 200 employees manufacturing air conditioning components.   CEO Veit Schmid-Schmidfelsen expects the T-TIP will expand business with the United States and is opening a facility in Auburn, Alabama starting next year, beginning with 10 employees including workers and engineers.  He also expects to collaborate with the local university to establish training and apprenticeship programs for workers. 

LuxembourgL to R: USTR’s Christina Sevilla, U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg Robert Mandell, and U.S. Embassy Luxembourg’s Heidi-Hakone Jovanovic at the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce

In Luxembourg, U.S. Ambassador Robert Mandell and I met with small and medium businesses and industry associations at the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce.   Small Luxembourg companies such as Rotarex, a family-owned company manufacturing industrial valves and fittings, has a subsidiary in Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania employing 30 workers.

T-TIP will reduce trade barriers which can be especially costly to smaller firms, and expand opportunities for U.S. –EU trade and investment in order to help sustain and grow high-wage jobs on both sides.

To learn more about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, please visit www.ustr.gov/ttip.

For more information on the benefits of T-TIP on small- and medium-sized enterprises, please click here.

07/30/2014 - 4:00pm

The Obama Administration is committed to creating jobs, strengthening domestic manufacturing, and promoting sustainable economic growth that benefits American families. That is why USTR is pursuing trade negotiations that contribute to those goals by unlocking new economic opportunities for American workers, businesses, farmers, and ranchers.

The United States is currently participating in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) negotiations with 11 growing Asia-Pacific countries. TPP is designed to help create opportunity for Americans by opening these markets to U.S. goods and services, setting high-standard trade rules, and addressing 21st century issues in the global economy. 

There are a lot of myths suggesting that TPP would overturn or undermine our ability to buy American or even prevent states and local governments from implementing their own procurement processes.  These assertions are incorrect.

There is nothing in TPP that will ban federal, state, or local governments from buying American.  In fact, under TPP we are working to ensure that more countries around the world have the ability to buy American in order to help support jobs here at home. TPP will tear down barriers in other countries to create opportunities for our workers in fast-growing markets where governments are significant buyers of goods and services. 

Here are some important facts you should know regarding TPP and government procurement:

 1. TPP will make NO CHANGES to our procurement laws on the federal, state, or local level or undermine existing requirements. 
  • TPP’s rules on non-discrimination in government procurement are not new – they reflect 35 years of laws passed by the U.S. Congress and already govern our relations with more than 50 countries. 
  • Since 1979, under U.S. leadership, the United States and nearly all other industrialized countries, including 8 of the 11 countries that will be TPP partners, have agreed to government procurement rules to ensure a level playing field – a level playing field that benefits the United States. 
  • TPP will do nothing to prevent tax dollars from being used on procurement projects at any level of government right here at home.
  • Nothing in TPP will restrict the ability of governments to make purchases in accordance with their environmental policies.

 

2. TPP will only cover a part of federal procurement and does not cover state or local procurement. 
  • TPP will ensure that our small and minority business preference programs, as well as programs for distressed areas, transportation services, food assistance, and farm support are maintained.
  • TPP will make no changes to existing restrictions, including those on Department of Defense procurement and federal assistance to state and local transportation projects. 

 

3. TPP will not cover state or local government procurement.
  • Nothing in TPP will in any way impact how state and local governments implement their own procurement policies.  No state, local, county, or municipal government is covered by TPP.
  • TPP will not restrict the ability of states to make purchases in accordance with their environmental policies.

 

4. TPP will support job creation not only by helping Americans buy American, but by unlocking new opportunities around the world to sell American.
  • TPP will support American jobs and innovation by opening up new markets for American products in growing economies across the globe.  TPP countries are fast-growing markets where governments are expanding their buying and building as they grow more prosperous. 
  • When TPP is enacted, eight of our TPP partners will already be party to government procurement agreements with the United States.  TPP will open three additional markets to American products.  TPP will also promote rule of law and good governance by promoting fair and transparent purchasing rules, like those we already have in the U.S. 
  • TPP will support U.S. exports in products that we specialize in and foreign governments need, like American-made machinery; and medical, infrastructure, transportation, and IT equipment, and U.S. services.  These are exports that support family-wage middle class jobs across the U.S.

 

5. Of course the U.S. market is larger than those of other countries.  We have the largest economy in the world. 

  • TPP’s market access opportunities for the United States go beyond government procurement.  They cover virtually every good or service that the United States can export.  Because the United States has the largest economy in the world, our market is, by definition, larger than anyone else’s market.  But because we are already the most open economy in the world with the most competitive businesses and workers, we also stand to gain significantly from new opportunities.
06/25/2014 - 6:40pm

Deputy Assistant USTR for Small Business Christina Sevilla convened Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Working Groups with Chile and Peru to discuss cooperation through the Obama Administration's Small Business Network of the Americas, which links U.S. Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) with counterpart centers in countries throughout the Hemisphere to expand trade opportunities, share best practices in SME development, and help more small businesses take advantage of U.S. trade agreements. As President Obama has stated, the United States is going to “focus more on small and medium-sized businesses, on women's businesses, making sure that the benefits of trade don't just go to the largest companies but also to the smaller entrepreneurs and business people."

chile-peru-smeFrom L to R: Peru’s Ministerial Office Cabinet Advisor Carmen Bedoya Eyzaguirre, Peru’s Vice Minister of SMEs and Industry Sandra Doig Diaz,  USTR’s Christina Sevilla, Peru’s Vice-Ministerial Office Advisory Maggy Manrique Petrera, Director of Innovation Alejandro Bernaola Cabrera, and US Embassy in Lima Economic Officer Peter Lee

In Santiago, USTR welcomed the decision of the Bachelet Administration to establish 50 SBDCs based on the U.S. model throughout Chile, in order to promote inclusive growth and strengthen our respective countries ties in the SME sector. In June, a delegation from Chile will visit U.S. SBDCs at Howard University in Washington DC, George Mason University in Fairfax, VA and University of Texas at San Antonio, TX. The United States and Chile also discussed ways to promote trade by minority-owned small businesses and will develop an online webinar with the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce through the Administration's Look South initiative.

In Lima, Sevilla met with Vice Minister of SMEs Sandra Doig Diaz, and congratulated Peru on the recent completion of training in the U.S. SBDC model and the Ministry of Production's decision to establish pilot SBDCs in Peru in 2015. Peru intends to partner with U.S. SBDCs and their SME clients to expand opportunities under the trade agreement. The US and Peru also discussed efforts to empower women-owned businesses through the public-private partnerships under the Women's Entrepreneurship in the America's initiative.

The U.S. also discussed expanded regional opportunities for SMEs with Chile and Peru through the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement that is currently being negotiated.  The United States, Chile and Peru are three of the 12 countries in the TPP.

To learn more about the Trans-Pacific Partnership, please visit http://www.ustr.gov/tpp.

06/25/2014 - 6:00pm

This month, officials from the United States and Oman held bilateral environmental meetings in Muscat, Oman and convened an open session with members of the public on June 5 – World Environment Day – contributing to the global effort to encourage worldwide awareness and action for the environment.  The meetings included a review of progress in implementing commitments under the Environment Chapter of the United States–Oman Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and the establishment of an updated work plan for environmental cooperation intended to assist Oman to implement its FTA commitments. 

Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Environment and Natural Resources David Oliver, along with representatives from the Department of State, the Department of Justice, the Department of the Interior, and the U.S. Forest Service, met with Omani government officials to exchange information and review progress and developments relating to a range of issues under the Environment Chapter, including actions taken to increase levels of environmental protection, effectively enforce environmental laws, and provide opportunities for public participation in environmental governance and the trade policy-setting processes.

US-Oman-EnviroDavid Oliver, Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Environment and Natural Resources, and other members of the U.S. and Omani delegations discuss implementation of the U.S.-Oman FTA Environment Chapter and related environmental cooperation

Oliver also took part in a meeting of the United States–Oman Joint Forum on Environmental Cooperation, which oversees implementation of bilateral environmental cooperation activities that are intended to support Oman’s efforts to implement its commitments under the Environment Chapter.  The Joint Forum on Environmental Cooperation reviewed ongoing environmental cooperation activities and approved and signed an updated Plan Of Action, which provides a robust framework for environmental cooperation activities for the period 2014-2017.

Together, these meetings are an important way for the United States and Oman to exchange information and review progress on respective efforts to implement the FTA Environment Chapter, identify challenges and priority areas for environmental cooperation, and develop plans to achieve further progress. The meetings culminated with a public session in which a range of stakeholders had an opportunity to engage in a discussion with government officials about implementation of the FTA Environment Chapter, existing environmental cooperation programs, and plans for further cooperation.

For more information, please see the Joint Communiqué of the United States-Oman Environmental Meetings.

The United States-Oman FTA entered into force in January 2009.  The agreement promotes economic growth and trade, but also includes important provisions to advance the Parties’ mutual commitment to strengthen environmental protection.  For more information on the United States-Oman FTA, please click here.

06/25/2014 - 9:00am

U.S. officials urged more than 30 governments to address the problem of global excess steel capacity at a key international meeting earlier this month.  Government policies that create or maintain excess steelmaking capacity can hurt American steel producers and workers.  The United States was joined by Canada and Mexico in calling attention to policies that distort trade, harm the environment, and threaten the most efficient steel producers in every market.

At the 76th meeting of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Steel Committee, USTR and Department of Commerce officials raised concerns about government interventions that unfairly distort the global marketplace for steel.  These concerns were echoed by U.S. industry representatives.  OECD Steel Committee Chairman, Risaburo Nezu, underscored the risks to industry if global steel capacity and production continue to outpace demand. 

Through multilateral fora like the OECD Steel Committee, as well as through bilateral efforts, U.S. trade officials are advancing policies that level the playing field for American workers and firms, raise labor and environmental standards, and maintain the integrity of critical global markets.  For more information on global steel production and policies, please visit the OECD website.

06/24/2014 - 6:45pm

An unprecedented emphasis on leveling the playing field for American workers and businesses

U.S. Trade Representative, Ambassador Michael Froman is joined by Senator Debbie Stabenow and Congressman Sandy Levin last month to announce a key victory against unfair duties places on American-made cars by China

Tough monitoring and enforcement is required if trade agreements are to bring their full benefit to America’s businesses, families, farmers, and workers.  That’s why the Obama administration has undertaken the most ambitious upgrade of trade enforcement in the history of modern U.S. trade policy, building a far more capable enforcement system.   The result is a high volume of new disputes, and a strong record of success that is providing tangible results in our efforts to level the playing field for American workers and businesses. 

In the last two months alone we have seen victories in two important trade enforcement cases that have benefited U.S. auto workers and U.S. producers of high-tech goods that utilize rare earth materials. In addition to enforcement in the WTO, the Administration is pursuing additional dispute settlement through our free trade agreements to protect labor rights and enhance environmental protections. 

MORE RESOURCES:  The Obama administration has made a concerted effort to enhance the capacity of the United States to enforce our trade agreements.  The capstone on this effort is the 2012 creation of the Interagency Trade Enforcement Center (ITEC).  ITEC is a USTR-led body with 22 trade analysts with expertise in a wide range of areas needed for successful enforcement.  ITEC includes staff members with expertise in areas such as subsidies analysis, intellectual property, economics, agriculture, and animal health science, and with a variety of language skills including Chinese, Russian, Portuguese and Spanish.  ITEC dramatically upgrades America’s ability to identify and address violations of trade agreements.  It represents a historic commitment of personnel and budget to enforcement efforts, giving the United States greater capacity to find, prove, prosecute, and stop violations of trade agreements.

HIGH VOLUME OF DISPUTES:  Under this Administration, USTR has filed 18 WTO complaints, more than any other WTO Member.  Nine filings target measures adopted by China; three target Indian measures; other complaints addressed an array of major economies including Argentina, the European Union, Indonesia, and the Philippines.  At the same time, through our Free Trade Agreements, USTR has broken new ground by launching a dispute settlement case involving labor rights and environmental rights and conservation. 

A CONSISTENT RECORD OF SUCCESS:  The Administration has an outstanding record of success.  Of the 18 complaints filed since 2008, the U.S. prevailed in all 6 of the disputes that have resulted in WTO decisions.  The U.S. has also settled 1 case on favorable grounds.  (The remaining complaints are pending).

IMPACT ON AMERICAN WORKERS AND BUSINESSES:  These stepped-up enforcement efforts cases are designed to benefit American workers and businesses by leveling the playing field and by setting long-term precedents that will support future American growth. For example:

  • The U.S. case targeting the European Union’s Airbus subsidies carries with it billions of dollars in direct value for American aerospace workers and companies of all sizes and will set clear legal lines restricting new civil-aircraft subsidy programs.
  • The U.S. case against Chinese limits on electronic payment services establishes key, market-opening precedents for services trade and the digital world.   
  • Through the case against Chinese export restraints on rare earths, the Administration is striving to provide major benefits to U.S. high-tech industries that make use of these important inputs, and to confirm important precedents ensuring access to essential minerals and intermediate goods.
  • The case against India’s solar-energy local content rules is aimed at forced localization policies adopted by India and other major economies.   
  • The case filed against Guatemalan labor practices under the CAFTA-DR demonstrates the enforceability of labor provisions in free trade agreements and helps to ensure that our trading partners aren’t avoiding the enforcement of their labor law in the hopes of gaining trade or investment advantage.
  • Several cases offer especially important economic impacts for small and medium-sized businesses.  These include WTO filings against Chinese export requirements for auto parts manufacturers, Indian use of unscientific supposed health requirements to block poultry imports, and unfair import licensing rules in Argentina. 
06/12/2014 - 9:50am

Today marks the 80th anniversary of the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act (RTAA), a new approach to trade policy passed by the New Deal Congress and signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.  The RTAA was the first time Congress and a President worked together to enact trade negotiating authority to help pass new trade agreements that would increase exports and support new job creation.  Through the RTAA, Congress set the framework for international trade negotiations and empowered the President to exert American leadership in the international trading system.

The Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act was signed into law on June 12, 1934 as part of the Roosevelt Administration’s efforts to pull America out of the Great Depression.  The RTAA served as an integral step in America’s transition from economic crisis to global leadership.  FDR believed that a complete and permanent recovery depended on strengthened international trade to increase domestic growth and demand. To secure our country’s space in the global economy, the American President and Congress needed to work together to negotiate trade agreements to cut tariffs on goods and increase U.S. exports. Increased international trade boosted the growth-promotion aspects of the New Deal’s domestic programs, and the successful enactment of the RTAA resulted in the conclusion of 19 new trade agreements between 1934 and 1939, strong growth in U.S. exports, and the recovery of the American economy.

Eighty years later, the tradition of the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act continues in the form of modern Trade Promotion Authority (TPA).  President Obama, like President Roosevelt, has made trade policy a central part of his economic strategy to create jobs, promote growth, and strengthen the middle class. In 2013, U.S. exports increased to a record high of $2.3 trillion, an increase that is responsible for a third of America’s total economic growth. Moreover, every additional $1 billion in exports supported roughly 5,600 U.S. jobs, which on average pay 13-18% more than non-export related jobs. Trade Promotion Authority is necessary for building on these gains and extending American economic leadership into the 21st Century.

Trade Promotion Authority is about unlocking opportunity for domestic workers, in the same way Roosevelt’s RTAA aided domestic job creation through trade in the New Deal programs. TPA is a vital part of trade negotiations because it allows Congress to set the terms of trade negotiations, congressional consultations during negotiations, and the legislative procedures for voting on agreements.

Though the world has changed dramatically since FDR enacted the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act, the basic promise of trade remains the same. Done right, trade policy gives American workers the chance to compete on a level playing field, and under TPA, Congress and the Administration work together to guide trade with global partners by setting goals and standards that represent American interests and values.

06/05/2014 - 1:00pm

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) held a public hearing on World Environment Day, Thursday, June 5, to gather comments and input on U.S. negotiating objectives for the World Trade Organization (WTO) Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA).  The United States, Australia, Canada, China, Costa Rica, the European Union, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Switzerland, and Chinese Taipei are preparing to negotiate the agreement to eliminate tariffs on environmental goods such as solar water heaters, wind turbines, and catalytic converters.  These countries together represent 86 percent of global trade in environmental goods.  Increased trade in environmental goods is a key part of both the President’s Climate Action Plan and U.S. leadership in global trade and environmental policy.  By eliminating tariffs on environmental goods, we can make them cheaper and more accessible for everyone, while leveling the playing field for U.S. exporters.

EGA hearingAn interagency panels hears witness testimonies on the World Trade Organization Environmental Goods Agreement

During the hearing, a panel of government officials from the U.S. Trade Representative’s office, Environment Protection Agency , and the U.S. Departments of State,  Commerce, and Homeland Security heard testimony from six witnesses on the potential environmental and economic impacts of liberalizing trade in  environmental goods.  The witnesses also recommended a wide range of products for inclusion in the EGA.  The testimony and written submissions from interested stakeholders provide useful input on how the negotiations can advance U.S. environmental objectives and support economic growth, green jobs, and innovation.  A full list of the witnesses can be seen here.

In 2013, the United States exported $106 billion of environmental goods.  Global trade in environmental goods totals nearly a trillion dollars annually, but some countries apply tariffs as high as 35 percent, adding unnecessary costs to  the environmental technologies needed to protect the environment.

For the text of the joint Environmental Goods Agreement announcement, please click here. Public submissions for the Environmental Goods Agreement can be viewed online atwww.regulations.gov , Docket number USTR-2014-0004.

To view a video of the hearing, please see visit the USTR Youtube page here.

05/22/2014 - 9:00am

More than 300 individuals participated in a public forum during the fifth round of Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) negotiations. The popular public forum has become a signature opportunity for organizations and the public to share input, receive information, and engage in conversation directly with U.S. and EU negotiators.

These conversations have steered our approach to the negotiations and we are grateful to everyone who took the time to present, ask questions, and participate. We have always felt that public input, like this, helps produce outcomes that reflect our values and unlock opportunity for American families. 

Chief Negotiator Dan Mullaney and Ignacio Garcia-Becero spent most of the day listening to presentations ranging in topic from agriculture & food to environment & raw materials to regulatory issues. In many of the sessions, both negotiators took the opportunity to ask questions beyond the information provided in the presentations, underscoring the value these conversations offer.

A record number of stakeholder presenters took advantage of the opportunity to deliver presentations to U.S. and EU trade officials on the issues they cared about most.  The presentations addressed a cross-section of issues including the benefits of harmonized regulations to the US and EU auto industry, the priorities of family farmers and ranchers,  food safety standards, and the value of T-TIP to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).   The more than 70 presentations throughout the day provided valuable feedback to help the US and the EU negotiate a T-TIP agreement that reflects the interests and values of our constituents. The full presentation schedule and list of organizations that were represented can be found here.

ttip-stakeholder-presentationChief US and EU negotiators hear from more than 300 individuals representing business, labor, consumer, academic, and NGO interests during stakeholder presentations

The Obama Administration has made it a tradition to host public forums as part of the trade negotiation round that allow for open and candid dialogue between stakeholders, negotiators, and senior trade officials.

The days activities concluded with a full update provided by both lead negotiators about the progress being made in the negotiations, they then answered questions for more than hour on any subject that was on the minds of those in attendance.  Every questioner received a thorough answer. 

ttip-stakeholder-briefing

The United States and the European Union are the world’s two largest economies, and currently account for almost 50 percent of global GDP and 30 percent of global trade.  When completed, T-TIP will promote jobs and growth across the Atlantic, and add to the 13 million American and EU jobs already supported by transatlantic trade and investment.  This round’s host state of Virginia also stands to benefit from increased economic engagement between the United States and the EU.  In 2013, Virginia exported $4.0 billion to the EU, with top export markets being the United Kingdom ($996 million) and Germany ($790 million).

To learn more about the objectives and benefits for the United States in T-TIP, please click here.

For more information about T-TIP, please visit the USTR website, and the European Union’s T-TIP website

05/22/2014 - 8:30am

On the occasion of World Trade Month this May, Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Small Business Christina Sevilla spoke at the International Relations Council of Kansas City, Missouri on the topic of “The European Union and the United States:  An Important Relationship for the Midwest.”  The conference was organized in partnership with the Delegation of the European Union (EU) to the United States and attracted over 75 local business and civic leaders. 

sevilla-ttipPhoto l to r:  Former U.S. Ambassador to Portugal Allan Katz;  Christina Sevilla, USTR;  Gino Serra, Honorary Vice Consul of Italy, Prof. Timothy Lynch, Univ. of Missouri Kansas City School of Law; Fred Baehner, Member of ITAC-3 Small and Minority Business

During the discussion, Ms. Sevilla met with state and local officials, including Chang Lu of the Kansas Department of Commerce and Jacques Lebrument of the Greater Kansas City World Trade Center, to discuss the ways the U.S. trade agenda unlocks opportunities for American small businesses and workers. Both Lu and Lebrument assist local small and medium-size businesses with export sales and identifying new markets and customers abroad, and were interested to learn about the new opportunities the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) will provide for local American firms in the EU market.

The United States currently has 28 million small and medium-sized enterprises, which have provided over half of all jobs and two-thirds of all new jobs in recent decades. The U.S.-EU trade and investment relationship is important to the American economy, and the Midwest in particular, as it supports thousands of local jobs in the region. Missouri exported $2.0 billion to the European Union last year, and in 2013, the top Missouri manufacturing goods exports to the 28 EU Member states included chemicals ($610 million), transportation equipment ($236 million), non-electrical machinery ($228 million), and computer and electronics ($106 million).  Missouri’s top EU export destinations in 2013 were the United Kingdom ($323 million), Germany ($321 million), France ($196 million), Netherlands ($181 million), and Italy ($172 million).  The UK and Germany are also top sources of foreign direct investment in Missouri and neighboring Kansas, employing American workers in high-wage jobs, such as the German company Siemens, which has offices in Kansas City.

One of the many Midwestern firms currently exporting to the European Union is Kansas City-based SCD Probiotics, a bioscience company that produces probiotics for applications in agriculture, livestock operations and aquaculture.  The company’s exports consistently account for more than 70 percent of their sales, supporting jobs in Missouri and the greater Midwest. Exports have led to the company opening an office in Germany, through which German retail customers can place orders for the American goods. To learn more about the opportunities the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) will provide American small and medium-sized business, please click here.

To learn more about the benefits of trade to small businesses, please visit  http://www.ustr.gov/trade-topics/small-business