USMCA is More Business for Small Business
By Loretta Greene,
On July 1, 2020, the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) enters into force, officially replacing the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). USMCA is a ground-breaking achievement for U.S. small businesses, and is the first trade agreement ever to include a full chapter dedicated to small business interests.
Supporting and expanding U.S. small business trade with Mexico and Canada is a top priority for me as the new Associate Administrator for SBA’s Office of International Trade (OIT). SBA OIT has a team of talented trade finance specialists and finance products to help small businesses involved in international trade to access capital, purchase inventory as a manufacturer or supplier, and expand through trade. OIT helps ensure small businesses are adequately represented in trade negotiations led by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and educates U.S. small businesses on the wide range of federal and state resources that can increase their ability to compete in international trade.
The modernization of trade with Mexico and Canada under USMCA is designed to benefit U.S. small businesses and to ensure more balanced trade. U.S. companies with fewer than 500 employees comprise 65 to 70 percent of all identified U.S. companies trading goods with our closest neighbors, according to the most recent statistics.
Companies selling goods to Mexico and Canada can now achieve expanded export opportunities under the USMCA. In 2019, U.S. companies sold $292.6 billion in U.S. goods to Canada and $256.5 billion in U.S. goods to Mexico.
As part of USMCA, SBA OIT launched a new international sales information resource site, www.sba.gov/tradetools, which is part of the http://www.trade.gov/usmca to assist small businesses to use USMCA. Both links also connect to pages created by Mexico and Canada. Small businesses can explore the agreement, learn about the rules, and identify where to direct questions and find resources through these information sharing platforms. Resources include a new Customs and Border Protection’s USMCA Center staffed with experts.
As small businesses use the USMCA, they will find important commitments across the agreement including:
SBA is proud to be part of this achievement. We look forward to helping more U.S. small businesses trade with Mexico and Canada, while supporting those already exporting to further expand their sales. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov/tradetools or contact the SBA International Trade Ombudsman Hotline at (855) 722-4877 or firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
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