New plans between the U.S. and Asian trade partners could have a profound impact on the ability for American small businesses to export their goods overseas, according to The Washington Post.
There are two vital partnerships in the works: The Trans-Pacific Partnership, and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. The Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement is currently stuck in several deadlocks between the U.S, Japan and other countries as each country tries to agree to a plan that will suit it best.
Currently, only about 1% of U.S. companies export owing to high tariffs, the stacks of paperwork required, and lengthy delays that can make it difficult to do business with many countries. The ability for small business in the U.S. to participate in more overseas trade would open up lucrative markets.
U.S. and Japan are currently in a deadlock over Japan’s auto and farming markets — once they are resolved, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which will form a 12-nation trade bloc, will be fairly finalized. President Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will be meeting this week, which could help spur the negotiations along. U.S. negotiators are hoping to peel back layers of Japanese bureaucracy that make it difficult for U.S. cars to be imported.
Some small business groups are less enthused about the agreement, saying that it will only repeat the failures of NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement established 20 years ago with the goal of strengthening U.S. companies by opening up trade with Canada and Mexico. Arguably, the result was, instead, the loss of manufacturing jobs abroad. Either way, the partnership is likely to spell change for the future of U.S. business.