The Atlantic Council: TTIP and SME Survey

As negotiations toward an ambitious Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) move forward, the Atlantic Council, a nonpartisan policy research organization based in Washington, D.C., is conducting research on the prospective impact of this agreement on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), in both the U.S. and European Union.

The Atlantic Council’s Global Business and Economics Program works to build upon and strengthen the already deep economic integration between Europe and the United States as well as promote transatlantic leadership in the global economy. Bringing together top business leaders, government policy makers, and economic experts, the program explores transatlantic and global issues of importance to the U.S. and European business community. Their aim is to identify areas for cooperation as well as convergence in policy in an effort to promote an open and mutually beneficial environment for transatlantic business and trade.

SMEs represent the vast majority of all firms in both the U.S. and EU and account for an outsized proportion of job creation, yet they face significant barriers when attempting to export their goods and services across the Atlantic. Unlike large companies, which often have foreign affiliates in both markets and can afford to pay additional costs related to regulatory divergences, SMEs are sometimes unable to hurdle these considerable barriers.

In collaboration with the Small Business Exporters Association (SBEA), among others, the Council is conducting a survey of American and European SMEs to identify the specific challenges that they have faced when exporting across the Atlantic, costs that may have even prevented these companies from being able to export to the U.S. or EU at all. They will highlight specific company cases in order to personally communicate the very real obstacles faced by these businesses and emphasize the opportunity to address them through TTIP.

The Councils goals are:
•    Emphasize the outsized positive impact that a comprehensive agreement would have on American and European small businesses;
•    Focus on informative case-studies to identify several key barriers that SMEs face when doing business across the Atlantic;
•    Produce an effective report, with specific policy recommendations, that helps inform U.S. and European policymakers, business leaders, and the media.

By highlighting these significant hurdles, the Council will develop a number of policy recommendations to ensure that American and European negotiators address the most pressing problems facing SMEs.

SBEA encourages those members who have experience in doing transatlantic business, to take a few minutes out of your busy schedule to help inform this project by completing their brief SME survey online here.

Please note that the information collected in this survey will be kept confidential, and both your name and your company’s name will not be shared without your consent. The Council will not use this information for any other purpose beyond this research project.