International trade is getting its fair share of attention this campaign season. Unfortunately it's not getting a fair shake. Candidates from both parties express caution or outright opposition to trade and our country's trade agreements. At FedEx, we believe they do so to the detriment of our country's economy and workforce.
The fact is trade is good for – and critical to – the American economy. Exports create new markets for American-made products while imports help American families stretch their budgets by providing more choices and lower prices. Although the U.S. is the world's largest economy, 92 percent of global economic growth and 80 percent of the world's purchasing power are outside of the U.S., according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
That means that trading with the world isn't an option. It's a necessity.
Listening to the rhetoric of the campaign, you might be tempted to think trade only benefits big business. That is absolutely not the case. Trade benefits businesses of all sizes, but small- and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) are the biggest beneficiaries.
A recent FedEx survey of over 1,000 small business leaders confirms that SMEs that export tend to grow faster and create more jobs than those that do not trade internationally. With ecommerce expected to exceed $3.5 trillion globally in the next three years, even a micro-sized company can connect to customers around the world.