A common misconception too frequently held by the owners and/or officers of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the United States is that USG advocacy is only for large firms. Contrary to that notion, the Advocacy Center actively promotes and encourages the filing of advocacy requests by the SME business community.
The Center seeks to broaden and deepen the U.S. exporter base by marshaling USG resources on behalf of SMEs competing for foreign government procurements and projects. USG advocacy is enlisted by SMEs to ensure: (a) access to foreign market opportunities, (b) transparency of procurement procedures, and (c) fairness in competitive evaluations.
As part of this effort, the Center engages in an on-going outreach campaign to SMEs in an effort to spread knowledge about — and participation in — the USG advocacy program to new-to-export and to new-to-market SME beneficiaries. In addition, the Center refers SME advocacy applications to appropriate export financing agencies — e.g., the U.S. Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im Bank), the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), or the U.S. Trade & Development Agency (TDA) — in an effort to leverage their support for SME client firms. As a rule, these agencies welcome opportunities to assist SMEs by furnishing financing which can subsequently provide a competitive advantage to SMEs as they pursue business opportunities with foreign governments.