Office of the United States Trade Representative


Small Business? Big Time!
By: Gregory Walters, Director of Small Business Affairs, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative 06/10/2003

“The role of government is not to create wealth, but to create an environment where entrepreneurs can flourish.” 
- President Bush’s Small Business Agenda

This is the first in the series of monthly columns designed to assist 97% of all direct U.S. exporters with information about how the Bush Administration’s international trade agenda can benefit their business.  It will be informative to those businesses that generate nearly one-third of all U.S. exports.  But surprisingly, this column is not directed to General Motors, Exxon, or Wal-Mart.  It is directed to U.S. small business; to manufacturers, wholesalers, and service companies who create jobs, engage in international commerce, and contribute to economic growth in the U.S. and abroad

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) is the federal agency that develops and coordinates U.S. trade policy.  It is small by federal government standards, employing about 200 people, and carries the big responsibility of helping to build the legal framework by which goods and services move in and out of the United States.  USTR cooperates with our trading partners directly as well as through the World Trade Organization, the negotiations towards a Free Trade Area of the Americas, and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).  USTR’s purpose is to help insure that U.S. Business gain fair access to markets abroad and to give U.S. consumers and working families a wider variety of high quality, lower-priced goods at home, as well as more competitively priced inputs for small businesses.

The Office of Small Business Affairs is new to USTR.  Our purpose is to provide U.S. Small Businesses meaningful access to and information about the development of U.S. trade policy.  This column is but one initiative we are pursuing to accomplish our mission.

In the following months, we will have the opportunity to discuss more fully how trade can help small businesses.  For now, please browse our website at and feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns you may have.

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