INDIO - The United States and United Kingdom jointly convened the 7th U.S.-UK Small- and Medium-Sized (SME) Dialogue, hosted by the Cabazon Band of Cahuilla Indians on Tribal lands in Indio, California. This marks the first-ever SME Dialogue hosted with Native American Tribal Nations, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Commerce Inland Empire Export Assistance Center, bringing together Tribal, rural, and minority small business representatives and SME representatives from the UK. The dialogue sought to expand bilateral trade and investment and identify ways to enhance broader and more inclusive SME participation in trade.
Chairman Doug Welmas of the Cabazon Band of Cahuilla Indians opened the SME Dialogue with Acting Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Europe and the Middle East Bryant Trick, and Emma Wade-Smith OBE, His Majesty's Trade Commissioner for North America. The SME Dialogue is organized by the Office of the United States Trade Representative, the Department of Commerce, and the Small Business Administration alongside the UK Department for Business and Trade.
Participants at the SME Dialogue discussed the experiences of Tribal, rural and minority-owned small businesses and opportunities and challenges in U.S.-UK trade; SMEs and clean technology solutions in U.S.-UK green technology trade; growth opportunities for SMEs in U.S.-UK services trade including e-commerce, logistics, and tourism; and SME finance. In addition to the Cabazon Band of Cahuilla Indians, Tribal SME speakers at the SME Dialogue included representatives of the Navajo Nation, Jicarilla Apache Nation, and Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians.
Established in 2018 in Washington, D.C. and London, and convening subsequently in New York, Bristol, Boston, and Edinburgh, 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 was s about $296 billion in 2022, and together there is around $1.7 trillion invested in each other’s economies. Around ninety percent of U.S. exporters to the UK are small- and medium-sized firms, with just over 26,000 small businesses across the fifty states exporting $20.3 billion in goods to the United Kingdom.