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 Home > News & Policies > March 2004

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
March 24, 2004

Fact Sheet: Opening New Markets for America's Small Businesses

Presidential Action

  • The President addressed entrepreneurs at the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, where he discussed his policies to strengthen the economy and help small businesses create jobs for all Americans by:
    • Opening foreign markets to U.S. products and services and providing a level playing field for American workers;
    • Creating the conditions for American companies of all sizes to compete with and outperform the world; and
    • Making sure that America's workers have the best skills and education in the world.
  • Exports are vital to our Nation's economic strength. In 2004, American companies are selling computer chips to Japan, producing BMWs for export to Germany, exporting California wine to France, and even selling Mexican food to Mexico. When 95% of the potential customers for American products live outside the U.S., America must reject policies that would result in economic isolationism. Isolationist policies would endanger our economic recovery, cost U.S. workers jobs, lead to higher prices for American consumers, and put U.S. workers and companies at a competitive disadvantage.
  • There are about 1.2 million Hispanic-owned businesses in America, according to the most recent data. Our economy is stronger and our society is better because Hispanic entrepreneurs are striving and succeeding across America.

Background -- U.S. Small Businesses Participate in the Worldwide Economy

  • Large American companies are not the only ones doing business abroad. 97% of all U.S. exporters are small and medium-sized businesses. Companies with fewer than 20 employees make up nearly 70% of all U.S. exporting firms.
    • Hispanic-owned businesses are selling car and truck parts, food, construction equipment, financial services, manufactured goods, and many other products to markets around the globe. Many Hispanic entrepreneurs have benefited from expanded trade under NAFTA, which has helped nearly triple our trade with Mexico in the past decade.
  • Small and medium-sized businesses will benefit directly from new trade agreements that slash foreign tariffs and remove the barriers that disadvantage American workers and exporters. The President has recently signed trade agreements with Singapore and Chile, and recently completed negotiations with Morocco, Australia, and a group of countries in Central America.
    • More than 6,000 small and medium-sized businesses export to Chile.
    • Over 4,000 small and medium-sized businesses export to Costa Rica.
    • Approximately 3,000 businesses export to Honduras.
    • Open trade will create jobs here at home, while helping the small business sector of America.
  • Opening markets to U.S. products and services is an important part of the President's six-point plan for sustaining America's economic recovery and creating new jobs for American workers. According to government statistics:
    • U.S. exports accounted for about 25 percent of U.S. economic growth during the 1990s.
    • Jobs in exporting plants pay wages that average up to 18 percent more than jobs in non-exporting plants.
    • Approximately one out of every five factory jobs in the United States directly depends on trade.
    • American farmers raise a third of their acres for export, and exports generate nearly 25 percent of farmers' gross cash sales.
    • America's dynamic high-tech sector depends on exports. In 2003, exports of advanced technology products totaled $180 billion.