TTIP and SMEs: what potential?
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) has significant potential for small and medium sized enterprises, according to a report released by the European Commission. It presents the results of a survey of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) carried out in 2014 on challenges they face when exporting to the United States. It also uses newly available data to look at the scale of exports by EU SMEs to the United States.
Elżbieta Bieńkowska, Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs added: “SMEs stand to benefit most when we reduce non-tariff barriers and cut red tape. We are working on that in the EU Single Market and here we can see why it is so important to do the same thing in the TTIP negotiations.”
The report finds that SMEs are already big winners from transatlantic trade. 150,000 SMEs exported to the United States in 2012, accounting for 28% of all EU exports there. SMEs in sectors linked to food, beverages & agriculture; clothing, textiles & leather; as well as chemicals had an above-average share of EU exports.
However, the survey also shows that that EU SMEs see challenges in exporting to the US market, many of which can be eased by a TTIP agreement that is ambitious and comprehensive and maintains our high standards of regulatory protection. The issues raised include:
- Complying with technical rules and regulations for all goods;
- Accessing information about what regulation applies to their product;
- Being legally excluded from the market, as in many parts of public procurement;
- Compliance with customs rules;
- Differences in regulation between US states;
Many of the challenges faced by SMEs when exporting to the US market could be eased by a TTIP agreement. The regulatory part of TTIP is precisely one of the points on the agenda of the 9th round of negotiations on TTIP in New York City from 20 to 24 April 2015.