Washington, D.C. - Deputy United States Trade Representative Miriam Sapiro today addressed small- and medium-sized businesses at the USTR conference event "Jobs on Main Street, Customers Around the World: A Positive Trade Agenda for US Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises." Ambassador Sapiro was a leader of the third and final panel of the conference, focusing on effective trade policy solutions for small- and medium-sized exporters. Excerpts from Ambassador Sapiro's remarks follow here:
"Today, we've heard a lot about the enormous opportunities for small- and medium-sized businesses in the global marketplace. And we've also heard about the challenges small- and medium-sized businesses face when they reach out to take advantage of those export opportunities.
"For me the lesson of this conference is two-fold. Number one, America's small- and medium-sized businesses have what it takes to succeed anywhere in the world. Number two, in order to turn small exporters' raw potential into real jobs for American workers, we need to continue to break down barriers to trade and make it easier for Main Street American businesses to sell their goods and services around the world.
"As a former entrepreneur myself, I can say that when you're starting your own business, or trying to take your business to the next level, every opportunity matters. Shaping U.S. trade policy to foster job-creating opportunities is USTR's number one priority.
"The Office of the United State Trade Representative is taking unprecedented steps to open world markets to small- and medium-sized business owners. Through designating an Assistant United States Trade Representative responsible for Small Business, through the agency-wide small business working group, and through interagency efforts like the one here today, we are expanding global opportunities. In short, we are redoubling our efforts on behalf of these critical job-creating enterprises."
Video of Ambassador Sapiro's full comments at the roundtable, including a summary of key lessons from the USTR conference, will be available on the USTR website on Monday, January 25, at www.ustr.gov/smeconference.