Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) National Chair Mike Cherry said: “For small businesses, the US is the number one single market of choice for importers and exporters for the next three years, which is why these negotiations are so critical.
“Exporting will be crucial for many small businesses to support their recovery from the pandemic and that is why it’s crucial to see a reduction in tariff and non-tariff barriers.
“With our economy likely to be suppressed for some time, we are going to need small businesses that trade to lead the way. The prospects of a trade-led recovery would be lifted by progress in trade negotiations with the EU as our nearest trading bloc, the US as the largest global economy, as well as other nations already bouncing back after COVID-19 such as China.
“Our own findings suggest that the US is the most important individual country market for small firms hoping to export over the next three years, with 46% selecting the country.
“Small businesses are already the backbone of the UK’s domestic economy. And especially in these difficult times, we now need to see their share of global trade start to catch up. We can do this by putting SMEs front and centre of all new trade agreements.
“Securing a pro-small business free trade agreement, which includes a comprehensive and dedicated small business chapter, will be essential to addressing the needs and distinct challenges that small firms face when engaged in transatlantic trade."