July 15, 2010
News Release 10-080
Inv. No. 332-509
Contact: Peg O'Laughlin, 202-205-1819

SMALL AND MEDIUM-SIZED ENTERPRISES (SMEs) EXPORT LESS THAN EUROPEAN SMEs; INSUFFICIENT FINANCING, COMPLEX REGULATIONS, TRANSPORTATION COSTS AMONG TOP BARRIERS TO U.S. SME EXPORTING

Insufficient access to finance, complex regulations, and rising transportation costs are the top barriers to exporting identified by U.S. small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), reports the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) in its report Small and Medium Sized Enterprises: U.S. and EU Export Activities, and Barriers and Opportunities Experienced by U.S. Firms.

The USITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, completed the report at the request of the U.S. Trade Representative.

As requested, in order to assist in the analysis of the performance of U.S. SME firms, the report compares the exporting activities of SMEs in the United States with those of SMEs in the European Union (EU). The report also describes barriers and trade costs associated with exporting, as well as strategies to reduce these barriers and costs. In addition, the report identifies the benefits to U.S. SMEs from improvements to the exporting environment resulting from free trade agreements (FTAs) and other trading arrangements.

Highlights of the report follow.

Small and Medium Sized Enterprises: U.S. and EU Export Activities, and Barriers and Opportunities Experienced by U.S. Firms (Investigation No. 332-509, USITC Publication 4169, July 2010) will be available on the USITC's Internet site at http://www.usitc.gov/publications/332/pub4169.pdf. A CD-ROM of the report may be requested by e-mailing pubrequest@usitc.gov, calling 202-205-2000, or contacting the Office of the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436. Requests may also be faxed to 202-205-2104.

USITC general factfinding investigations, such as this one, cover matters related to tariffs or trade and are generally conducted at the request of the U.S. Trade Representative, the House Committee on Ways and Means, or the Senate Committee on Finance. The resulting reports convey the Commission's objective findings and independent analyses on the subjects investigated. The Commission makes no recommendations on policy or other matters in its general factfinding reports. Upon completion of each investigation, the USITC submits its findings and analyses to the requester. General factfinding investigation reports are subsequently released to the public unless they are classified by the requester for national security reasons.

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