Yesterday, U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and eBay Inc. CEO John Donahoe announced a partnership to promote U.S. trade and investment expansion. The joint effort will focus on increasing awareness of the economic benefits of trade, specifically the important role that small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) can play in growing America’s export economy. The partnership was introduced via a memorandum of agreement (MOA) signed between the Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration and eBay Inc.
Secretary Pritzker made the following statement: “In a globally-connected economy, American companies have to consider the entire marketplace as they look to grow their businesses and create jobs. The fact is, 95 percent of worldwide consumers live outside U.S. borders. Whether they are large or small, American businesses cannot afford to limit their options when it comes to selling their goods and services. The Obama Administration is committed to ensuring that SME exporters are aware of export opportunities and federal resources that are available to help them establish a foothold abroad, increase their exports, and support additional good-paying American jobs. We look forward to working with eBay Inc. to help America’s small and medium-sized businesses thrive at home and around the world.”
This partnership advances the Obama Administration’s National Export Initiative, an ambitious plan to sell more American goods and services into foreign markets. Working together, this agreement between eBay and the Department of Commerce will build out U.S. government export programs to provide more inclusive tools for technology-enabled traders and educate these businesses on export-focused products and services already available to them.
Donahoe, who was appointed by President Obama to the President’s Export Council (PEC) in December 2013, said of the partnership: “At eBay we are committed to creating opportunities for businesses of all sizes to participate in the global marketplace, which is why we’re so pleased to partner with the Department of Commerce on this effort. In today’s digitally-connected world, every business can export and help grow our American economy.”
The MOA announcement comes after the U.S. Department of Commerce announced earlier this month that U.S. exports in 2013 set a new record for the fourth straight year. U.S. exports reached $2.3 trillion in 2013, up nearly $700 billion since 2009. SMEs have played a critical role in driving record export growth. Yesterday, the Department announced that U.S. exports supported more than 11.3 million jobs in 2013, up 1.6 million jobs since 2009.
In 2013, eBay Inc. enabled more than $45 billion in cross border trade commerce and payments. An eBay study analyzing trade flow data from eBay’s marketplace found that 97 percent of U.S. commercial sellers on eBay export. Of these small businesses, 81 percent export to five or more foreign countries.
recent PayPal/Nielson report estimates cross-border demand for online retail of American products was worth $23 billion in 2013 and is expected to grow to $83 billion by 2018, creating a tremendous opportunity for small businesses and entrepreneurs across the world to tap into this demand.