FedEx SME Trade Index finds widespread concerns about U.S. protectionism

76 percent of small business leaders told FedEx that “increasing trade between the U.S. and other countries will improve the U.S. economy,” according to the third FedEx SME Trade Index, released today. The results echo an increasingly vocal majority in the U.S. logistics sector that is calling for the Trump administration to abandon its protectionist platform, warning that protectionism will ultimately hurt U.S. businesses.

“Expanding trade opportunities is essential for U.S. economic growth and American jobs,” said Raj Subramaniam, executive vice president, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, FedEx Corp. “Trade agreements lower barriers to American goods and services so the U.S. can remain competitive in an increasingly global marketplace.”

The FedEx SME Trade Index suggests that U.S. businesses are worried about last year’s hasty retreat from trade deals like the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and similar developments. They worry that scuttling these deals will put American businesses at a disadvantage. Some 68 percent of leaders surveyed said that, “the United States risks falling behind other regions of the world if it is not included in trade agreements and treaties.”

With NAFTA on the ledge, Mexico and Canada are rushing to strengthen trade ties with other, more trade-friendly countries, at the expense of some U.S. businesses.

The solution: make U.S. businesses more competitive with programs addressing job retraining and skills upgrades need to be a priority for the U.S. to compete globally. That’s what 82 percent of surveyed business leaders said.

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