America’s small businesses face a range of challenges around the world, but remain optimistic about the opportunity to succeed globally. Business leaders noted a range of challenges accessing global markets, including difficulties complying with foreign regulations, shipping and customs issues, currency fluctuations, and ensuring innovations are appropriately protected overseas. Still, they expressed optimism about their engagement overseas and advised other small businesses to look outside of the United States for new growth opportunities. Small businesses can benefit from Federal and State global promotion programs, though some are not aware they exist. Several business leaders pointed to the importance of Federal or State programs that contributed directly to their success in international markets. Companies including Genteel and KaMin credited the U.S. Commerce Department’s Commercial Service as providing key advice and resources. Other companies pointed to the Ex-Im Bank and programs from organizations including the U.S. Small Business Administration, National Science Foundation and Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) as important to their global success. American small businesses favor more open trade. Business leaders expressed strong views about the importance of maintaining and improving access to open markets overseas. Policy Recommendations Based on these interviews with small business leaders, the Global Innovation Forum rec- ommends the following steps to U.S. policymakers to maximize the ability of American small businesses to create jobs in the United States: 1. Prioritize efforts to support an open global digital economy and eliminate digital trade barriers to ensure that American small businesses can reach consumers abroad. Where consumers and businesses abroad lack payment options, are unable to track packages, lack access to social media or other widely-used web platforms due to regulatory barriers,orcannotaccesstheinternetreliably,theyareunabletoengagewithAmerican businesses. 2. Empower American small businesses to compete and succeed in the global marketplace and take steps to make their journeys easier. 3. Recognize small business owners and founders as core trade stakeholders, seek to increase their input and participation in advisory committees, informal consultations and hearings, and develop new strategies to address the global challenges they face. 4.ExpandFederalandStateexportpromotioneffortsandincreaseoutreachtostartups and small businesses, including by growing innovative public-private partnerships. For example, the Global Innovation Forum and U.S. Department of Commerce have seen significant interest among small businesses in Startup Global, a public-private partnership to help startups across the United States think globally from Day One and to improve understanding of public and private sector resources that enable success. 5. Maintain the commitment of the United States to open markets abroad; seek new pathways to improve access to international markets, including by ensuring that small businesses can use internet services to reach foreign consumers; and create shared rules of the road to promote rule-of-law, transparency, and fair and nondiscriminatory treatment of American businesses and workers. 7 The New Faces of American Trade