USITC Investigating EU Trade-Related Barriers for SME’s
On July 30, the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) published a Federal Register notice notifying small and medium-sized enterprises (SME’s) that the USITC is seeking information for a report that will identify trade-related barriers that SMEs perceive as disproportionately affecting their exports to the European Union (EU), compared to those of larger U.S. exporters to the EU.
The investigation, Trade Barriers that U.S. Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Perceive as Affecting Exports to the European Union, was requested by the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) in a letter received on June 18, 2013.
In identifying these barriers to exporting, the USITC will use information and definitions contained in the three previous studies on SMEs that were released by the USITC in 2010, including definitions of “SME,” “disproportionate,” and “barrier,” any relevant literature, and information gathered from SMEs and others.
As requested by the USTR, the USITC’s report will cover barriers faced by SMEs exporting both goods and services, and will focus primarily on barriers identified by SMEs that have experience in exporting to the EU. Also as requested, the report will identify barriers by economic sector or by special issue to the degree practicable and will focus on sectors with high concentrations of SMEs.
In the letter, the USTR noted that the report will help U.S. negotiators attain broad input from SMEs as part of the domestic consultation process to support negotiations related the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and will seek to strengthen U.S.-EU cooperation to enhance the participation of SMEs in transatlantic trade, and to address trade barriers that may disproportionately impact small businesses.
As requested by the USTR, the USITC will
- Base its report on available information, including information furnished by SMEs and interested parties following the Commission’s notice of investigation;
- Address, where information is available, specific trade barriers in individual EU member states;
- Provide, to the extent applicable, qualitative distinctions among the identified trade-related barriers; and
- Include suggestions gathered from SMEs or the relevant literature to strengthen U.S.-EU cooperation to enhance the participation of SMEs in transatlantic trade.
As requested by the USTR, the USITC expects to transmit its report to the USTR by Jan. 31, 2014.
USITC is inviting written and oral submissions to assist U.S. negotiators attain broad input from SMEs as part of the domestic consultation process to support negotiations related to the TTIP. All written submissions should be addressed to the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, D.C. 20436.
The deadline for filing requests to appear at the public hearing is Sept. 13, 2013 and the deadline for filing pre-hearing briefs and statements is Sept. 20, 2103. the public hearing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on Oct. 8, 2013 in Washington, D.C. The deadline for filing post-hearing briefs and all other statements is Oct. 15, 2013.
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For more information on the key barriers small businesses face in exporting, please click here to view the recent NSBA/SBEA Survey on Exporting.