Only 0.7% of European SMEs export to the United States and the value of exported goods and services is less than 2% of the added value produced by European SMEs as a whole. Yet despite the relative lack of importance of transatlantic trade for European SMEs, TTIP could have a seriously de-stabilising effect on them by (i) significant diverting inter European trade (which represents the bulk of the SME exporting) to the USA (ii) encouraging the importing of cheap American products and (iii) supporting large groups to enter European markets in which SMEs are strong.
Over the past months, numerous European SMEs have expressed their concern, both individually and collectively, over the potential risks to their activity resulting from the current negotiations. To get a better understanding of the subject, several organisations, and in particular the European Economic and Social Committee, have recommended that the European Commission make a detailed assessment of the impacts the TTIP would have on each country and each sector. To date, this legitimate request remains unanswered.
Velben Institute for Economic Reform has recently released one of the most in-depth paper on the effect of TTIP on SME’s. The negotiators of TTIP have often stated that main benefit of this treaty will be for SME’s, however, there seem to be little evidence supporting their claim, actually Velben Institute study’s numbers prove the opposite. If there was indeed any positive effect of TTIP for SME’s it would only befit those who are already exporting or have good conditions to do so; while the great majority of SME’s would suffer an attack on their main market which is the national and EU level one.