TPP and Small Businesses: What’s the Big Deal?

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TPP and Small Businesses: What’s the Big Deal?

Small Business Review of TPP Released

Kansas Global CEO Page chairs review committee

The proposed Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) will generally benefit small and minority-owned businesses, according to a report compiled by a federal committee chaired by Karyn Page, CEO and president of Wichita-based Kansas Global Trade Services.

The  TPP is a trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim countries concerning a variety of matters of economic policy. The trade agreement was completed on Oct. 5 after seven years of negotiations. It now moves to the U.S. Congress for final consideration.

The Industry Trade Advisory Committee on Small and Minority Business chaired by Page is one of several economic sectors statutorily required to review proposed trade agreements between the United States and foreign countries. The ITACs are a unique public-private partnership jointly managed by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) that engages business leaders in formulating U.S. trade policy.

The committee report was completed last week and submitted to the Office of the United States Trade Representative, which in turn will forward it to the President and the U.S. Congress. All of the advisory committee reports are now available for public view at https://ustr.gov/trade-agreements/free-trade-agreements/trans-pacific-partnership/advisory-group-reports-TPP.

Small and minority-owned businesses in Kansas should be paying attention to the Congressional consideration of the TPP, Page said, noting that the economies of the TPP participants represent 40 percent of the global GDP. Although the committee generally endorsed the trade agreement, it also noted several regulatory and administrative issues that should be addressed before its Congressional approval. Once it is passed into law, small and minority-owned businesses will have the option to voluntarily participate in the new trade opportunities, she said.

“The TPP proposal marks the first time that a small and medium-sized business chapter was included in a federal trade agreement,” Page said.  “As chair of the ITAC-11 committee dealing with minority and small businesses, I have had the unique opportunity to hear real-world concerns from top executives from across the country. The input from this 36-member group will help guide the Congressional consideration of the TPP.”

Page was appointed to the committee in 2007 and was elected chair in 2014.  Also serving on the committee is recent appointee Steven J. Cooper
vice president of sales a marketing for Balco, Inc., a Wichita-based firm specializing in the manufacture of architectural products. (Full membership of the committee can be viewed here.)

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