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Survey: Many middle market companies see trade agreements as a positive

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Survey: Many middle market companies see trade agreements as a positive

However, more than 60% of middle market companies don’t currently export.

While the benefits and burdens of international trade agreements are a hot topic in political circles, middle market business leaders polled in a recent survey by middle market lender KeyBank consider trade agreements in a positive light, as US-based companies look for new markets.

The survey indicated that nearly half – 49% – of middle market business leaders responding stated free trade agreements are good for the US economy. Leaders of smaller middle market businesses – those businesses with revenues below $500 million – indicated their businesses benefit by free trade agreements, with 44% of those surveyed stating free trade agreements help their business.

“Exporting goods and services can be a whole new horizon for a middle market business.”

Larger middle market businesses - those with revenues between $500 million and $4 billion – are even more enthusiastic about free trade agreements’ impact on their business, with 55% of those business leaders stating free trade is good for their business.

That being said, 42% of middle market business leaders surveyed were neutral about free trade agreements’ impact on their business.

Middle market enthusiasm for exporting goods and services, which are facilitated by trade agreements, comes as no surprise for Sandy Marrone, who is a senior vice president in the Product and Innovation Group of KeyBank’s Enterprise Commercial Payments segment.

“Exporting goods and services can be a whole new horizon for a middle market business,” Marrone said. “Most middle market companies I work with are eager to understand whether exporting can work for them, including whether there are potential working capital needs associated with going into new markets. There is a lot of opportunity for them here.”

That process starts with helping business owners understand the risks involved and the regulatory requirements that govern US businesses exporting into non-US markets.

There appears to be ample opportunity for middle market businesses interested in exporting goods and services, according to US Census data. Middle market businesses generate 33% of all US business output. These same businesses, however, generate only 9% of all US export value. More than 60% of middle market businesses don’t export at all.

For the full report, click here.

 

 

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