News of Note
U.S., E.U. Commit To Small Business Trade Promotion
Justin Enck and Josh Snead
The United States and European Union signed a memorandum of understanding (“MOU”) concerning cooperation on small and medium-sized enterprises (“SMEs”) on December 3, 2012. The MOU establishes a working group tasked with promoting cooperative efforts between SMEs in the U.S. and E.U., including joint trade shows, networking events, and promotion of small business partnering opportunities. According to Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Miriam Sapiro, SME exports accounted for $380 billion or roughly a third of the value of all U.S. exports in 2010. Because they have fewer resources than larger enterprises, SMEs are disproportionately affected by foreign testing and certification requirements and often struggle to effectively enforce their intellectual property rights abroad. The MOU expresses a shared commitment to expanding the involvement of smaller enterprises in foreign trade by helping SMEs overcome obstacles to trade, while fostering the exchange of information and networking among SMEs on both sides of the Atlantic.