US trade will be vital for smaller exporters

Small businesses that hope to export goods or services over the next three years should prioritise trading with the US, a report has claimed.

With the UK set to leave the EU on 31 January 2020, the US was identified as the best individual market to trade with, followed by Germany and France.

However, the EU is tipped to remain the most important trading bloc for smaller UK exporters over the next three years.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) conducted the research alongside academics from the University of Sussex.

They urged the Government to include a SME chapter and a dedicated SME committee in all future free-trade agreements.

This committee should have a meaningful say in the key areas that will affect small firms, the authors argued, whether that is e-commerce or trade facilitation.

Mike Cherry, chairman at the FSB, said:

"Small businesses are already the backbone of the UK's domestic economy.

"For our country's future prosperity, we now need to see their share of global start to catch up, by putting SMEs front and centre of all new trade agreements, especially as we depart the EU.

"It is essential that the needs of smaller firms are at the heart of future free-trade agreements through a dedicated small business chapter in each agreement."

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