EDINBURGH - The United States and United Kingdom jointly hosted the 6th U.S.-UK Small- and Medium-Sized (SME) Dialogue yesterday, bringing together business representatives from both sides of the Atlantic to identify ways to expand bilateral trade and investment and to enhance broad and inclusive SME participation in that trade and investment. The SME Dialogue is convened by the Office of the United States Trade Representative, the Department of Commerce, and the Small Business Administration with the UK Department for International Trade, and the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Today, U.S. and UK government officials convened government-to-government meetings to discuss and consider the useful input provided by the SME participants from the SME Dialogue.
Dan Mullaney, Assistant United States Trade Representative for Europe and the Middle East and Graham Floater, Director of UK-US Trade at the UK Department for International Trade opened the SME Dialogue. They were joined by Rosemary Gallant, Minister Counsellor and Regional Senior Commercial Officer for the United Kingdom, Nordics and Ireland, U.S. Embassy London; Gabriel Esparza, Associate Administrator for International Trade, Small Business Administration; Emma Wade-Smith OBE, His Majesty's Trade Commissioner for North America and British Consul General in New York; and Rachel Gwyon, Director for UK Nations and Agriculture, Food and Drink.
Participants at the SME Dialogue discussed an update on U.S.-UK trade; opportunities and obstacles for SMEs accessing U.S. and UK markets, including advances in paperless trading and customs and trade facilitation; advancing women’s economic empowerment; best practices for exporting to the United States and the United Kingdom; and resources for SME export assistance.
Based on the input of SME stakeholders, the U.S. and UK agreed today to several actions over the next six months. First, the two governments will update and enhance toolkits targeted at helping SMEs navigate trans-Atlantic trade including export resources for women, minority and indigenous-owned SMEs and underserved communities. Second, U.S. and UK government officials from the trade agencies will convene special expert-level discussions on digital trade and customs and trade facilitation to consider the input of small businesses and identify opportunities for deeper cooperation in these areas. Third, U.S. and UK officials agreed to continue their commitment to jointly engage trans-Atlantic small businesses by having the United States host the 7th SME Dialogue in the United States in May 2023.
Established in 2018 in Washington, D.C. and London, and convening subsequently in New York, Bristol, and Boston, the SME Dialogue is an ongoing exchange bringing small and medium businesses and stakeholders on both sides of the Atlantic together with government officials to identify ways to deepen U.S.-UK trade and investment ties and strengthen cooperation on issues of mutual interest to SMEs. Trade between the two countries is about $247 billion per year, and together there is around $1 trillion invested in each other’s economies. Ninety-two percent of U.S. exporters to the UK are small- and medium-sized firms, with nearly 36,000 small businesses across the fifty states exporting $23.2 billion in goods to the United Kingdom.