Friday 4th October 2013, When small business owners hear words such as transatlantic, trade and investment they often think that it doesn’t apply to them – with the only beneficiaries of such deals being big multinationals far away in London. This is not the case with TTIP.
TTIP would effectively allow UK businesses regardless of location, size or sector to access US markets without having to pay the punitive import duties which make their products un-competitive. As a result the deal would open up markets in Milwaukee to manufacturers in Manchester and companies in Cleethorpes would be able to sell direct to consumers in Cleveland Ohio as if they were in the town next door.
This is a big deal for all UK business and this removal of barriers to US customers would boost the UK economy as a whole by 0.5% GDP or £10 billion a year according to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Not only will this benefit companies with existing operations in the US looking to expand, but it will also enormously assist organisations looking to explore the potential and variety of the US market.
One of the most important aspects about TTIP is that it will cut the red-tape and regulations which are often so prohibitive to market entry for small businesses. Whilst larger organisations can, due to their scale, cope with these charges, SMEs often find it hard to compete. Should TTIP be successful, this will change.
This is not to say that big businesses will not benefit from TTIP, they will for the same reasons as SMEs and as a result many are campaigning heavily for the deal. The key point however is that just as all UK businesses, big or small, will benefit from TTIP, all businesses need to express their support to help ensure that it becomes reality.
With a supportive US President in the White House and trade high up the joint EU-US agenda in the wake of the financial crisis, TTIP presents a once in a generation opportunity that all businesses need to grasp with both hands. Big or small, established or start-up this is a deal that can benefit your business. To become reality however, it needs your backing.