November 25, 2009
News Release 09-098
Inv. No.332-509
Contact: Peg O'Laughlin, 202-205-1819


Second of Three Studies Will Compare U.S. and EU Exports, Identify Barriers and Benefits

The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has launched the second of three studies that will examine the extent and composition of U.S. exports by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and factors that may disproportionately impede U.S. SME exports.

The USITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, is conducting the investigations in response to a request from the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), received in a letter on October 6, 2009.

The second report, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises: U.S. and EU Export Activities, and Barriers and Opportunities Experienced By U.S. Firms, will analyze the performance of U.S. SME firms in exporting compared to SMEs exporting in other leading economies. As one way of comparing the performance of U.S. SMEs to those in other countries, the Commission will compare the exporting activity of SMEs in the United States and the European Union (EU) and analyze the distinctions between U.S. and EU firms in terms of sectoral composition, firm characteristics, and exporting behavior. It will also identify barriers to exporting noted by U.S. SMEs and strategies used to overcome special constraints and reduce trade costs, as well as the benefits to SMEs from increased export opportunities, including free trade agreements and other trading arrangements.

The USITC will deliver the report to the USTR by July 6, 2010.

The USITC will hold a hearing in connection with this investigation in Washington, DC, on February 9, 2010 (carrying over to February 10 if needed), and will consider holding two field hearings outside of Washington, DC. Requests to appear at the Washington hearing should be filed no later than 5:15 p.m. on January 26, 2010, with the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436. For further information, call 202-205- 2000.

The USITC also welcomes written submissions for the record. Written submissions (one original and 14 copies) should be addressed to the Secretary of Commission at the above address and should be submitted at the earliest practical date, but no later than 5:15 p.m. on March 26, 2010. All written submissions, except for confidential business information, will be available for public inspection.

Further information on the scope of the investigation is available in the USITC's notice of investigation, dated November 25, 2009, which can be obtained from the USITC Internet site ( or by contacting the office of the Secretary at the above address or at 202-205- 2000.

USITC general factfinding investigations, such as this one, cover matters related to tariffs or trade and are generally conducted at the request of the U.S. Trade Representative, the House Committee on Ways and Means, or the Senate Committee on Finance. The resulting reports convey the Commission's objective findings and independent analyses on the subject investigated. The Commission makes no recommendations on policy or other matters in its general factfinding reports. Upon completion of each investigation, the USITC submits its finding and analyses to the requester. General factfinding investigation reports are subsequently released to the public, unless they are classified by the requester for national security reasons.

-- 30 --