For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
March 24, 2004
Fact Sheet: Opening New Markets for America's Small Businesses
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
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
Over 4,000 small and medium-sized businesses export to
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.