SBA says trade deals will help small business…










Courtesy of PBN and  Washington Bureau Chief

A big political fight is coming over U.S. trade policy, but the head of of the Small Business Administration and her four most recent predecessors agree that trade promotion authority and the Trans-Pacific Partnership would be good for small businesses.

In this op-ed, SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet is joined by former SBA administrators Karen G. Mills, Steve Preston, Hector Barreto and Aida Alvarez in making the case for new trade agreements:

By 2030, more than 2 billion Asian consumers are expected to join the global middle class. In 15 years, the Asian market is projected to be six times larger than the U.S. market. Increasingly, we see an exploding Asian middle class adopting many of the same tastes and appetites for consumer goods that have long been hallmarks of American middle class life. Mexico and several Latin American economies are not far behind.

More than 95 percent of the world’s consumers live outside of the United States, and only 1 percent of our small businesses are selling to them. If we’re going to maintain our global economic leadership as a nation, that must change.

We come from different political parties, and we have led the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) at different junctures, but on this point we all agree: Congressional approval of trade promotion authority (TPA) and completing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) sought by President Barack Obama would constitute a significant victory for America’s small businesses.

One out of every five American jobs is tied to exports. These jobs generally pay better, nearly 20 percent better. Passing new trade agreements would be critical to our smaller exporters, which don’t have offshore affiliates to help them overcome trade barriers and gain market access.