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USTR Activities in Support of Small- and Medium-Sized Businesses

As part of an ongoing USTR-wide effort to help America's small- and medium-sized businesses export to the world and grow well-paying jobs here at home, policy teams at USTR are stepping up their focus this week on making trade policy more responsive to these smaller businesses - businesses that are big engines of job growth. Here's just a sample of USTR's team activities in support of small- and medium-sized enterprises:

On the first day of this week of intensive focus by USTR on exporting opportunities and challenges for small-and medium-sized enterprises, USTR's Office of the Americas met with the Council of the Americas to discuss how USTR and the Council can collaborate to focus our trade policy efforts to help America's small- and medium-sized businesses create more jobs at home by exporting more in the Western Hemisphere.

On Tuesday, USTR and the Council discussed opportunities and challenges for U.S. small- and medium-sized businesses exporting to the Americas. Consistent with the information released in the first International Trade Commission (ITC) Report on small- and medium-sized businesses that day, they discussed the success of some small- and medium-sized businesses in exporting to higher income destinations and in developing niche markets due to cultural affinities with the region, but noted that further information is needed on how small- and medium-sized businesses contribute to export supply chain in the Americas. They also discussed areas in which U.S. small- and medium-sized businesses exporting to the Americas could take greater advantage of export opportunities, such as the importance of developing foreign contacts.

They also discussed how they could work together with our trading partners to enhance dialogue under our free trade commissions and other trade and investment dialogues in the Western Hemisphere on small- and medium-sized businesses. USTR and the Council also agreed to work together to enhance information exchange on international trade and small- and medium-sized businesses.

Last week, on January 11, the Southeast Asia and Pacific office met with members of the International Trade Advisory Committee on small- and medium-sized enterprises to discuss how best to obtain input from these American businesses in order to ensure that their interests are addressed in Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations. On January 15, the Southeast Asia and Pacific office met with staff of TradeRoots, the Chamber of Commerce group charged with working with America's small- and medium-sized enterprises to build public awareness about opportunities in international trade, to obtain updates on their activities and to explore opportunities to coordinate our outreach efforts nationally as we seek input from smaller exporters on Asia-Pacific trade initiatives, particularly the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Keep watching the USTR blog this week for more events to boost American job creation by helping small- and medium-sized enterprises sell their goods and services to the world.