Thursday, November 18, 2010


IWS Documented News Service
Institute for Workplace Studies----------------- Professor Samuel B. Bacharach
School of Industrial & Labor Relations-------- Director, Institute for Workplace Studies
Cornell University
16 East 34th Street, 4th floor----------------------
Stuart Basefsky
New York, NY 10016 -------------------------------Director, IWS News Bureau


United States International Trade Commission [USITC]

Investigation No. 332-510

USITC Publication 4189

November 2010


Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises: Characteristics and Performance [9 November 2010]

[full-text, 228 pages]



Press Release 9 November 2010

Smaller Exporters Play Large Role in Trade

Exports by Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises Support Four Million U.S. Jobs

see also from USITC--


Key findings:

SME Performance

  • U.S. manufacturing and services SMEs that export outperform their non-exporting SME counterparts according to several key measures, including greater revenue growth and labor productivity between 2005 and 2009.
  • While large multinational firms sell primarily to foreign customers through foreign affiliates, SMEs tend to export directly to foreign customers. An estimated 73 percent of foreign sales by SMEs were conducted through direct exports, while an estimated 85 percent of foreign sales by large firms were conducted through foreign affiliates.
  • In addition to their role as direct exporters, U.S. SMEs export indirectly through wholesalers and other intermediaries by selling intermediate goods and services to large and small firms that produce exports with these intermediate inputs.
    • In 2007, direct exports of goods and services by U.S. SMEs totaled $382 billion, or approximately 28 percent of total U.S. exports. However, if the value of intermediate inputs is considered, SME's total contribution to exports would have been $480 billion, or 41 percent of the total value of U.S. exports of goods and services.
    • SMEs that exported goods and services directly supported an estimated 1.9 million U.S. jobs in 2007. However, when employment by SMEs supplying intermediate inputs to exporters is considered, an additional estimated 2.1 million U.S. jobs are supported, bringing the total to 4 million jobs supported by SME exports.

Services SME exporters

  • SME exporters of services generated 1.4 to 8.1 times more revenue per firm than SME services firms that do not export, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.
  • Between 2002 and 2007, SME services exporters grew 15 to 64 percent faster than services firms that did not export.
  • The smallest SMEs are the most export-oriented. While a small share of SMEs are engaged in exporting, services SME exporters are more export- oriented than large exporting services firms. Services SME exporters derived, on average, 22 percent of their total revenue from exports, versus only 15 percent for large services exporters.
  • During 2002-07, services SME exporters’ export revenues, total revenues, and employment increased by more than that of large services exporting firms.

Trade Barriers That Disproportionately Affect SME Export Performance

  • Burdensome or discriminatory government regulations in many foreign markets disproportionately affect SMEs. U.S. SMEs may lack the staff, expertise, or financial resources to dedicate to foreign compliance.
  • SMEs are more likely than large firms to identify high tariffs as a substantial impediment to exporting. SMEs account for a high share of exports in apparel and certain processed food industries that face generally higher foreign applied tariffs.
  • Standards and certification are important non-tariff hurdles for SME manufactured goods exporters. In particular, licensing, residency requirements, and commercial presence requirements present challenges for SME services providers that export.
  • Services SMEs reported the greatest disproportionate burdens relative to large firms in areas such as “insufficient intellectual property protection,” “foreign taxation,” and “difficulty establishing affiliates in foreign markets.”
  • Manufacturing SMEs reported greater burdens relative to large firms in most areas, including “customs procedures,” “high tariffs,” and “preference for local goods in foreign market.”
  • For SME manufacturing exporters, the most frequently cited impediment to exporting was “obtaining financing,” “high tariffs,” or “transportation and shipping costs.” In contrast, large manufacturing firms identified either “foreign regulations,” or “preference for local goods or services in a foreign market” as their most frequently cited impediment.
  • For SME services exporters, the most frequently cited impediment to exporting was “language or cultural barriers,” or “foreign sales not sufficiently profitable.” In contrast, large service providers identified either “difficulty locating foreign sales prospects,” or “foreign regulations” as their most frequently cited impediment.


This information is provided to subscribers, friends, faculty, students and alumni of the School of Industrial & Labor Relations (ILR). It is a service of the Institute for Workplace Studies (IWS) in New York City. Stuart Basefsky is responsible for the selection of the contents which is intended to keep researchers, companies, workers, and governments aware of the latest information related to ILR disciplines as it becomes available for the purposes of research, understanding and debate. The content does not reflect the opinions or positions of Cornell University, the School of Industrial & Labor Relations, or that of Mr. Basefsky and should not be construed as such. The service is unique in that it provides the original source documentation, via links, behind the news and research of the day. Use of the information provided is unrestricted. However, it is requested that users acknowledge that the information was found via the IWS Documented News Service.

Stuart Basefsky                   
Director, IWS News Bureau                
Institute for Workplace Studies 
Cornell/ILR School                        
16 E. 34th Street, 4th Floor             
New York, NY 10016                        
Telephone: (607) 255-2703                
Fax: (607) 255-9641                       



<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?