WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, today commented on the release of a report revealing that small-and-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) support four million jobs by directly and indirectly exporting goods and services. The U.S. International Trade Commission’s (USITC) report, “Small and Medium Sized Enterprises: Characteristics and Performance,” indicated that by exporting indirectly through wholesalers and as producers of intermediate inputs, U.S. SME’s play a larger role in the export economy than is suggested by traditional trade statistics.

“Small-and-medium-sized enterprises have accomplished remarkable achievements in spite of costs and regulation inequities in foreign markets,” said Ranking Member Snowe.  “That is why I have long advocated new and practical ways to alleviate burdens presented by existing disparities to bolster the participation of small businesses in international trade.  I believe the Small Business Export Enhancement and International Trade Act (S.2862), a bill I authored which was enacted into law as part of the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act on September 27, 2010, is a positive step towards helping small businesses succeed globally by providing an increase in loan limits for Small Business Administration export financing, expanding export technical assistance, and enhancing trade promotion efforts.  I hope we can continue promoting SME endeavors on an international scale through continued bipartisan support of pro-growth measures to give small businesses in Maine and across the nation opportunities to participate in the global marketplace.”

The USITC report highlights that SMEs are largely contributing to 41 percent of the total value of U.S. exports of goods and services while still facing discriminatory government regulations in many foreign markets and facing unfair advantage compared to their larger counterparts in expertise, lack of staff, and financial resources to dedicate to foreign compliance.