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Phase One: China Deal Good For CA
Guest Opinion
Michael Vallante

President Trump signed a Phase One trade deal with the People’s Republic of China, benefiting U.S. small-to-medium small business exporters. California businesses benefit in various ways from this deal.

The Phase One trade deal is a big win for California, ranking among the most innovative economies in America, according to Bloomberg’s U.S. State Innovation Index. It ends the practice of forcing American businesses to hand over their technology to Chinese companies in order to gain market access. The Intellectual Property chapter addresses longstanding concerns in pirated and counterfeit goods, including those sold on online platforms. China will address longstanding intellectual property concerns in the areas of trade secrets, trademarks, enforcement against pirated and counterfeit goods, and more.

The SBA’s Export Finance Managers are available to work with small businesses to build in overseas intellectual property protection costs into their SBA Export loans. SBA’s International Trade Ombudsman is available to assist with counseling small businesses on the importance of effective overseas intellectual property protection.

Another big win is for California’s farmers. Over a third of the country’s vegetables and two-thirds of the country’s fruits and nuts are grown in California. China has agreed to purchase between $40 and $50 billion in American agricultural goods each year for two years – providing a massive boost to America’s hardworking farmers.

SBA wants small businesses to know that SBA can assist them in getting into exporting with the help of mentors and modern technology. The SBA’s Office of International Trade can help any small business that faces barriers in accessing international markets. SBA resource partners, such as U.S. Export Assistance Centers and Small Business Developing Centers offer free business consulting and low-cost training services.

In addition, SBA’s State Trade Expansion Program provides financial awards to state and territory governments to help small businesses with exporting their products. California small businesses have benefited from STEP. The program partners with states to assist small businesses in learning how to export, participate in foreign trade missions and trade shows, obtain services to support foreign market entry, develop websites to attract foreign buyers, and design international marketing products or campaigns.

As the Regional Administrator for the Pacific Rim for SBA, and as Associate Administrator for the Office of Field Operations for our agency, SBA is ready to assist entrepreneurs expand their business to international markets. I invite entrepreneurs looking for assistance to reach out to their local SBA office.


Michael Vallante, U.S. Small Business Administration’s Associate Administrator for the Office of Field Operations, oversees the 68 district offices and nine Regional Administrators; and serves as Regional Administrator for Region IX, overseeing the agency’s programs and services in California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii and Guam.