Monday, January 25, 2010

US Trade Representative Seeks Input on Trade Matters

The United States Trade Representative (USTR) has instituted investigation No. 332-509, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises: U.S. and EU Export Activities, and Barriers and Opportunities Experienced by U.S. Firms, for the purpose of preparing the second in a series of three reports requested by the USTR relating to small and medium-sized enterprises. They are seeking feedback and are inviting companies to participate.

BACKGROUND: In his letter the USTR requested that the Commission provide three reports during the next 12 months relating to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). In this notice the Commission is instituting the second of three investigations under section 332(g) for the purpose of preparing the second report, which is to be transmitted to the USTR by July 6, 2010. The Commission published notice of institution of the first investigation, investigation No. 332-508, in the Federal Register of October 28, 2009 (74 F.R. 55581).

As requested, in the second report (investigation No. 332-509) the Commission will:
(1) Assist in analyzing the performance of U.S. SME firms in exporting compared to SMEs exporting in other leading economies. As one way of comparing the performance of U.S. SMEs to those in other countries, the Commission will compare the exporting activity of SMEs in the United States and the European Union (EU), and analyze the distinctions between U.S. and EU firms in terms of sectoral composition, firm characteristics, and exporting behavior.
(2) Identify barriers to exporting noted by U.S. SMEs and strategies used by SMEs to
overcome special constraints and reduce trade costs.
(3) Identify the benefits to SMEs from increased export opportunities, including free trade agreements and other trading arrangements.

To best aid the Commission in gathering information for the report, the Commission is seeking information in response to the following questions:
• What are the most significant constraints that U.S. SMEs face in their efforts to export?
• If SMEs have been successful in overcoming those constraints, what strategies have they adopted?
• What particular benefits do SMEs believe they have received from increased export
opportunities including those from free trade agreements and other trading arrangements; which trade agreements or other arrangements have been most beneficial?

January 26, 2010: Deadline for filing requests to appear at the public hearing.
January 28, 2010: Deadline for filing pre-hearing briefs and statements.
February 9, 2010: Public hearing (Washington, DC).
February 23, 2010: Deadline for filing post-hearing briefs and statements.
March 26, 2010: Deadline for filing written submissions.
July 6, 2010: Transmittal of Commission report to the USTR.

ADDRESSES: All Commission offices, including the Commission's hearing rooms, are located in the United States International Trade Commission Building, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC. All written submissions should be addressed to the Secretary, United States International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Project Leader Laura Bloodgood (202-708-4726 or

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