NSBA Staff Speaks at Global Trade Meeting

June 5, 2013

pic-export-shipOn Monday, June 3, Jody Milanese, Senior Director of Government Affairs at NSBA and its international trade arm, the Small Business Exporters Association (SBEA), was a featured speaker during a meeting of the Industry Trade Advisory Committee on Small and Minority Business (ITAC 11), a group that plays a critical role as the industry voice and representative in formulating U.S. trade policy. The Industry Trade Advisory Committees (ITACs) are a unique public-private partnership jointly managed by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Office of United States Trade Representative (USTR), who work side-by-side on industry specific issues related to, among others:  market access, customs matters, foreign investment and intellectual property protection.

The ITAC 11 committee—just one of 16 ITACs—represents the interests of small and minority businesses that are involved in international trade, and provides detailed policy and technical advice, information, and recommendations to the Secretary of Commerce and the USTR on trade barriers, negotiations of trade agreements, and implementation of current trade agreements to the U.S. government.

Among the many ways that the International Trade Administration (ITA) helps advance international trade, the ITAC system is an empowering tool through which U.S. business owners can provide their perspective on U.S. trade policy.

Designed to represent small and minority businesses, ITAC 11 is a multi-industry committee that focuses on making sure that trade negotiations and policies do not make it difficult for small and minority businesses to enter and sustain international business. Along with ITA and its trade promotion efforts, committees like ITAC 11 helps open up communications between industry and government and makes the government more responsive to the needs of small business exporter.

Hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and joined by colleagues from the National Association of Manufacturers, the National Governors Association and the State International Development Organization, Council of State Governments, the roundtable included discussions ranging from the need for Trade Promotion Authority and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations to Miscellaneous Tariff bills (MTB) and customs and border protection.

As the largest and oldest nonprofit association in the country dedicated exclusively to small- and mid-size exporters, SBEA has been active in the ITAC 11 and provides unique perspective on exporting for small businesses. In her comments, Ms. Milanese discussed how SBEA engages our members through outreach and grassroots trade efforts, and the importance of expanding exporting opportunities to America’s small businesses.

“Knowing that 95 percent of the world’s population lives outside the U.S., more must be done to emphasize the needs of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME’s) within the scope of U.S. trade. The presence of small exporters in America’s global trade strategy must continue to increase and the government needs to ensure that they continue to facilitate the exporting process, especially for SME’s who rely heavily on exporting to reach new global markets and expand their customer base,” Milanese stated.

She also mentioned the upcoming NSBA/SBEA Small Business Exporting Survey which will be released next week and includes myriad new data on small exporters–specifically that there has been growth in small-business exporting.

ITAC 11 meets several times a year in Washington, D.C. depending upon the work of the committee and the nature of the agreement being negotiated.