Last week, Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Small Business, Market Access, and Industrial Competitiveness Christina Sevilla and Director for European Affairs Michael Feldman participated in the first ever U.S.-European Union (EU) meeting on policies to support small- and medium-sized businesses. The meeting, which took place in Brussels on June 28-29, was organized by USTR in collaboration with the European Commission, and focused on the involvement of small businesses in international trade.
The purpose of the meeting, entitled “Small- and Medium-Sized Businesses Best Practices Exchange,” was for each side to share information on key elements of its small business-related policies. The discussions were also held in an effort to identify potential joint initiatives to improve support for these businesses. Topics of discussion included increasing access to export markets, the impact of regulation on these businesses, and the role of small- and medium-sized businesses in standard-setting work.
In addition to the USTR representatives, the meeting included participants from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, and several European Commission directorates. Executives from small- and medium-sized businesses, business associations, and private industrial standard-setting bodies also participated in the discussions.
A follow-up conference will take place in Washington, D.C. this fall. Presentations from the Brussels conference can be found here.