Author: Marie Sanderson
This week we celebrate National Small Business Week, honoring the nation’s entrepreneurs and small business owners that make up the backbone of the American economy. Firms with fewer than 100 employees account for over 98% of all American businesses, and the bulk of U.S. job creation comes from small businesses.
When most people think of small business, they think of a local ice cream shop or the dry cleaner down the road. What many people don’t realize is many small businesses rely on international trade, especially with our North American neighbors, Canada and Mexico. In 2016, more than 130,000 small- and medium-sized businesses in the U.S. exported more than $127 billion in goods to Mexico and Canada.
It’s no surprise, then, that our free trade agreements significantly impact the success of our small businesses. The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) recognizes the role small businesses have in our economy and makes certain they are able to reap the benefits of this new agreement, including through a first-of-its kind, stand-alone chapter for small- and medium-sized businesses.
Small businesses may have a smaller voice in Washington, D.C., but they have an incredible impact on the American economy and the American worker. Small businesses need a free, fair, and balanced trade agreement, like the USMCA, so that they continue growing and investing in the economy and in their employees.
- Empowers small businesses to participate in the 21st century economy by creating rules of the road for digital trade and prohibiting export duties on commonly-traded products, such as e-books, software, and online games.
- Encourages American innovation by protecting the intellectual property of American entrepreneurs and forward-thinking businesses, giving these businesses confidence that their ideas won’t be stolen and sold more cheaply in Mexico and Canada.
- Creates a standing, trilateral committee to collaborate on and expand opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses — the first U.S. trade agreement that includes a provision of this kind.
- Lowers barriers to e-commerce by raising the minimum cost of export shipments subject to taxes in Mexico and Canada.
- Undergoes a review every six years by all three countries to ensure the agreement works for U.S. workers and job creators — including small businesses.
The USMCA will ensure our small businesses can compete in the global economy and compete on a level playing-field with our closest trading partners. We urge Congress to move forward with a vote on USMCA and support American small businesses.
Senior Advisor, Trade Works for America
Trade Works for America is a social welfare organization organized under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions to Trade Works for America are not tax deductible as charitable contributions and are allocated entirely for activities that are non-deductible business expenses.