US-Colombia Trade Agreement Expands Exporting For Small Business in South America
by Karen Mills, Former SBA Administrator
- Created: May 15, 2012, 4:30 pm
- Updated: March 2, 2014, 11:03 pm
Exporting goods to South America just got easier for America’s small businesses. Today, the U.S. – Colombia Trade Agreement goes into effect, opening yet another fast-growing market to goods made in America. This exciting agreement marks a significant development in the Obama Administration’s efforts to expand access to American goods in emerging markets around the world.
Colombia is home to the third largest economy in South America and this agreement builds on the significant potential for U.S. small businesses to grow in that market. In 2009, there was a 34 percent increase in the volume of exports to Colombia. In 2010, it’s estimated that small business exporters represented 88% of all exporters to Colombia and the volume of trade was approximately $4.8 billion or 40%- well above the 33% average among all exporters.
Further, the tariff reductions in the agreement are estimated to expand exports of U.S. goods by $1.1 billion alone- creating opportunities for thousands of American jobs here at home. Among its many benefits, the agreement removes barriers to U.S. goods entering the Colombian market, increases access to Colombia’s $180 billion services market and provides greater protection of intellectual property like music and movies.
SBA’s many programs and initiatives help small business owners take advantage of opportunities in new emerging markets so they can grow and create jobs. Our International Trade Loan Program, Export Express and Export Working Capital programs support small businesses looking to export the capital they need to take the next step in growth. And our State Trade Export Promotion pilot program coordinates the activities of state export offices with those of the federal government through efforts such as training to get small businesses “export ready” and small business oriented trade missions.
The Obama Administration believes that supporting small businesses who are exporting to foreign markets is essential to continuing the recovery. By opening new markets to American goods, more small businesses can compete and win in our increasingly connected 21st century world economy. The U.S. –Colombia Trade agreement will help small businesses across the country grow and create jobs building an American economy built to last.
About the Author
Karen Gordon Mills is the Former Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration. The SBA helps both Main Street and high-growth small businesses get access to capital, counseling, federal contracts, disaster assistance and more.
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