New opportunities for trade and investment that would be created by the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) would be especially valuable for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), according to a report from European Union (EU) and U.S. officials.
Trade barriers tend to disproportionately burden smaller firms, “which have fewer resources to overcome them than larger firms,” the report says. Negotiators are working to ensure that SMEs can take full advantage of opportunities an agreement would provide, the report states, and are discussing inclusion of a chapter dedicated to SME issues.
The proposed TTIP would advance trade and investment liberalization and address regulatory and other nontariff barriers. It could also influence global trade by developing rules and principles on issues concerning state-owned enterprises. The latest round of negotiations on the pact concluded March 14 In Brussels, with the next round to be held in Washington “before the summer.”
In the EU and the United States, SMEs and startup enterprises are critical motors of growth and job creation. “Ninety-nine percent of European and U.S. companies — over 20 million companies in the European Union and 28 million in the United States — are SMEs. In the European Union, SMEs provide two-thirds of all private sector jobs and have a tremendous capacity to create new employment,” according to the report.
The full report (PDF, 1.14MB) is available through the U.S. Trade Representative website.