Trade is our business
Trade is the lifeblood of the global economy, and we believe everyone benefits when it is easier to bring new products and ideas to the global market. FedEx plays a critical role in expanding trade by connecting people and possibilities, helping businesses build more nimble supply chains and delivering local products and services to global customers around the world.
We need to get back to a pro-trade consensus
FedEx Chairman and CEO Frederick W. Smith and Center for Strategic and International Studies Trade Commission co-chairs call for renewed U.S. engagement and leadership in global trade.Read Article
The Path Forward: Business & the Economy
FedEx Chairman Frederick W. Smith joined Washington Post Editor Michael Duffy for a live discussion on business and the economy amidst the coronavirus pandemic.Watch here
FedEx Trade Index
FedEx Trade Index - Fall 2020
The latest survey commissioned by FedEx Corp., conducted by Morning Consult, finds a substantial majority of U.S. small-business leaders (82%) agree that increasing trade between the U.S. and other countries will improve the U.S. economy overall, and three out of four (75%) small-business decision makers believe that increasing trade will increase U.S. job growth. See results.
The importance of trade
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At FedEx, trade is our business, and expanding global trade is essential to our customers, our workers and our company. USMCA replaces the twenty-six-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), helping to streamline trade across the North American market, which is of critical importance to FedEx and our customers.
“We applaud the governments of the United States, Mexico and Canada for working together to approve and implement an agreement that simplifies trade for the highly integrated North American supply chains,” said FedEx COO Raj Subramaniam. “Modernizing and expanding global trade through free trade agreements like USMCA breaks down trade barriers, creates new job opportunities and helps our customers reach new markets.”
Following approval of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) by Congress and the Administration, FedEx President and COO Raj Subramaniam issued this statement:
“FedEx applauds Congress and the Administration for approval of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). This agreement will help to streamline trade across the North American market, which is of critical importance to FedEx and our customers. Highly integrated North American supply chains will continue to benefit all three economies and make them more competitive around the world.”
CSIS Trade Commission on Affirming American Leadership – September 17, 2020
Washington Post Live – May 14, 2020
The Washington Post – August 18, 2019
Frederick W. Smith, William Brock and Charlene Barshefsky
FedEx Business Insights – March 28, 2019
The Wall Street Journal – August 13, 2017
Frederick W. Smith and David Abney
The Wall Street Journal – March 25, 2016
Chairman and CEO Frederick W. Smith
U.S. Chamber Aviation Summit – March 5, 2020
The FedEx Trade Index periodically surveys over 1,000 small business leaders to track the impact of international trade among the small business segment of the U.S. economy. The FedEx Canada Trade Index launched in 2019 surveying the impact of international trade among small businesses and their opinions regarding the national economy.
Survey Finds Small Businesses Optimistic for Better Fortunes in 2021
MISSISSAUGA, ON., Nov 2, 2020 — Canadian small businesses have made it clear that economic recovery and international trade are closely linked, with 80 per cent agreeing that increasing trade between Canada and other countries will improve the economy overall. This comes from the 2020 FedEx Trade Index, a poll conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of FedEx Express Canada, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp (NYSE: FDX).
While 31 per cent of Canadian small businesses say their revenues are decreasing, small businesses are generally optimistic about the future of their business. Forty-three per cent say they believe a year from now their revenues will be increasing and 78 percent are confident in the future success of their business.
“Small businesses are the foundation upon which Canada’s economy is built,” said Lisa Lisson, president, FedEx Express Canada. “Small businesses are going through a generational battle for survival and their success is key to Canada’s economic recovery. Despite their challenges, their optimism is encouraging.”
Overlooked Opportunities: E-commerce, International Trade
Recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic may prove to be a long process, with one in five small businesses who have moved to temporary remote work saying they do not expect to move back to in-person office until next year. However, half of small businesses (51 per cent) believe that increasing the amount of trade between Canada and other countries will help their business. Surprisingly, only 39 per cent of Canadian small businesses are currently selling goods online. While Canadian SMEs share the view that trade is important to the economy, the poll confirms that vast majority of survey respondents (59 per cent) state the main reason their business does not import or export is because their customers are mainly local.
“Our borders remain open for trade and new markets wait for Canada’s goods and services. In challenging times such as these, we urge our small business owners to explore new strategies” said Lisa Lisson, President of FedEx Express Canada. “The FedEx Trade Index suggests not enough small business owners have pivoted their “brick and mortar” operations with “click and mortar” enhancements, opening their potential customer base to 7.8 billion people. This is where our small businesses can find growth potential.”
FedEx supports trade agreements that reduce trade barriers and create opportunities for our customers. Looking more deeply at the impact trade has on small businesses, 73 per cent of SMEs who import or export goods admit that fees and tariffs have had a great deal or some effect on the growth on their business. Four out of ten (41 per cent) SMEs who import or export goods say import/export fees are a major challenge to their business, with 38 per cent saying the same about the variations in fees and tariffs. This represents a real barrier to Canadian small businesses when importing or exporting goods to and from different countries. FedEx actively supports governments’ measures aimed at expanding access via the opening of markets and sharing of information around the world.
Overwhelming Support for CUSMA
The Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) enjoys overwhelming support among small business decision makers. Nearly nine in ten small business decision makers (86%) in Canada support CUSMA. Small businesses feel that international trade will not only help the Canadian economy, but their personal business as well. More than half of Canadian small businesses (51%) think increasing trade between their country and other countries will help their company. FedEx plays a critical role in expanding trade by connecting people and possibilities, helping businesses build more nimble supply chains, and delivering local products and services to customers around the world.
About the Survey
The poll was conducted from September 29 to September 29, 2019 among 500 small business decision makers in the Canada. These interviews were conducted online using a panel of respondents. The goal of the research is to understand the impact of international trade among small business and as well as their opinions regarding the national economy.
WASHINGTON, D.C., October 29, 2020 — A majority of U.S. small business leaders think expanded trade between the United States and other countries creates opportunity and jobs in the U.S., notes the sixth FedEx Trade Index(1), a survey of 1,000 small business leaders which tracks the impact of international trade among the small business segment of the U.S. economy.
The survey*, commissioned by FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) and conducted by Morning Consult, finds 82% of U.S. small business decision makers believe increasing trade between the U.S. and other countries will improve the economy overall. Three-fourths (75%) of these small business leaders think expanding trade will create opportunities and jobs. Still, some respondents report feeling unable to take full advantage of the benefits of trade: 70% of companies engaged in international trade said that customs regulations presented a barrier to their international e-commerce business.
"The results of the FedEx Trade Index remind us that, even in times of global uncertainty, small businesses overwhelmingly value the opportunities for growth and access to new markets that are made possible through global trade," said Brie Carere, executive vice president, chief marketing and communications officer, FedEx Corp. "In 2020, small businesses are adapting rapidly to embrace e-commerce and extending their reach to new consumers beyond their borders. Small businesses believe in the benefits of modern free trade agreements to enable their growth."
The Fall 2020 FedEx Trade Index also features a complementary survey conducted in Canada, offering insights from business leaders from two of the three markets in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which took effect in July 2020. An overwhelming majority (91%) of U.S. small business leaders are supportive of USMCA, up from 84% in the Fall 2019 FedEx Trade Index. Small business support for the agreement is also strong among survey respondents in Canada, where 86% of small business leaders expressed their support for USMCA.
Additional insights include:
- 85% of U.S. small businesses agree that programs addressing job retraining and skills upgrading should be a priority to help the U.S. compete globally.
- 47% of small businesses report investing in new technology since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- A majority of respondents say using technology to create better customer (74%) and employee (71%) experiences is important for their small business’ success and COVID-19 recovery.
 The FedEx Trade Index is a national survey of 1,000 U.S. small business leaders conducted by Morning Consult. Trade Index research also incorporated 500 respondents in Canada. Respondents included business owners and executives at companies with between two and 500 employees. The U.S. and Canada research was conducted online September 28-29, 2020. The margin of error for the full sample is +/-3%.
Fall 2019 Canada Trade Index Press Release – November 13, 2019
MISSISSAUGA, ON., November 13, 2019— Canadian small and medium businesses (SMEs) have made it clear that economic improvement and international trade are closely linked, with 83 per cent agreeing that increasing trade between Canada and other countries will improve the economy overall. This comes from the 2019 FedEx Trade Index, a poll conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of FedEx Express Canada, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp (NYSE: FDX).
Despite a majority of SMEs (57 per cent) believing that increasing the amount of trade between Canada and other countries will help their business, only 37 per cent of Canadian SMEs are currently selling goods online. This is in contrast with American counterparts, who are doing more business online (44 per cent). While both Canadian and US SMEs share the view that trade is important to the economy, the poll confirms both are largely focused on local customers.
“These results are very clear when it comes to our country’s approach to trade,” said Lisa Lisson, President of FedEx Express Canada. “Put simply, it is vital that SMEs and their ability to compete on the global stage remains a priority in Canada, to contribute to economic growth. Looking at how we achieve this growth, we know there is a huge opportunity for Canadian SMEs to harness the digital economy – and they should absolutely be using it to their advantage.”
Looking more deeply at the impact trade has on SMEs who currently import/export, 81 per cent admit that fees and tariffs have had a great deal or some effect on the growth on their business. Also within this group, nearly half (48 per cent) of those surveyed say that variations in fees and tariffs have been a major challenge to their business; and 44 per cent say that import and export fees have been a major challenge to their business.
The poll was conducted from September 17 to September 20, 2019 among 500 SME decision makers in the Canada. These interviews were conducted online using a panel of respondents. The goal of the research is to understand the impact of international trade among SMEs and as well as their opinions regarding the national economy.
Overwhelming Support for NAFTA / CUSMA
While SMEs in Canada feel that trade is critically important to the economy and growth of both their country and their business, many face obstacles when engaging in trade. Nearly a quarter of SMEs in Canada who import or export goods (24 per cent) say that fees and tariffs have impacted the growth of their business a great deal, representing a real barrier to Canadian SMEs when importing or exporting goods to and from different countries.
Both NAFTA and CUSMA (Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement) have positive support among SMEs in Canada. Nine in ten of those surveyed (90 per cent) in Canada support NAFTA. A similar amount (86 per cent) of SMEs in Canada expressed their support of CUSMA. SMEs feel that international trade will not only help the Canadian economy, but their personal business as well. More than half of Canadian SMEs (57 per cent) think increasing trade between their country and other countries will help their company.
“FedEx is committed to supporting trade policies that boost Canadian economic growth and competitiveness,” said Lisson. “Canada needs to pursue a comprehensive pro-growth, pro-competitiveness agenda that can help strengthen our global economic leadership. With 99.5 per cent of the world’s population outside Canada, we need to continue to find ways to reduce barriers to Canadian goods and services around the world.”
About the Survey
This poll was conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of FedEx between September 17-September 20, 2019 among a sample of 500 Small Business managers and executives in Canada. The interviews were conducted online and respondents were sourced using online panels. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.
About FedEx Corp.
FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) provides customers and businesses worldwide with a broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services. With annual revenues of $70 billion, the company offers integrated business solutions through operating companies competing collectively and managed collaboratively, under the respected FedEx brand. Consistently ranked among the world’s most admired and trusted employers, FedEx inspires its more than 450,000 team members to remain focused on safety, the highest ethical and professional standards and the needs of their customers and communities. To learn more about how FedEx connects people and possibilities around the world, please visit about.fedex.com.
Fall 2019 Canada Trade Index Press Release – November 13, 2019
MISSISSAUGA (Ontario), le 13 novembre 2019 – Les petites et moyennes entreprises (PME) canadiennes ont clairement indiqué que l’amélioration de l’économie et le commerce international sont étroitement liés, 83 % d’entre elles convenant que le renforcement du commerce entre le Canada et les autres pays contribuera à renforcer la situation globale de l’économie. Ce constat est tiré de l’Indice commercial FedEx 2019, un sondage mené par Morning Consult pour le compte de FedEx Express Canada, une filiale de FedEx Corp (NYSE : FDX).
Bien qu’une majorité de PME (57 %) croient qu’une augmentation des échanges commerciaux entre le Canada et les autres pays les aidera, seulement 37 % des PME canadiennes vendent actuellement des produits en ligne. Cela fait contraste avec leurs homologues américains, qui font plus d’affaires en ligne (44 %). Bien que les PME canadiennes et américaines partagent le point de vue que le commerce est important pour l’économie, le sondage confirme qu’elles se concentrent avant tout sur les clients locaux.
« Ces résultats sont très clairs en ce qui concerne l’approche de notre pays en matière de commerce », a affirmé Lisa Lisson, présidente de FedEx Express Canada. « En termes simples, il est essentiel que le renforcement de la capacité des PME à soutenir la concurrence sur la scène mondiale demeure une priorité au Canada, afin de contribuer à la croissance économique. En examinant comment assurer cette croissance, on constate que les PME canadiennes ont d’énormes possibilités de tirer parti de l’économie numérique – et elles devraient absolument l’exploiter à leur avantage. »
Si l’on examine de plus près l’incidence du commerce sur les PME qui importent ou exportent actuellement, 81 % d’entre elles reconnaissent que les frais et les droits de douane ont eu un effet important ou un certain effet sur la croissance de leur entreprise. De plus, au sein de ce groupe, près de la moitié (48 %) des répondants ont indiqué que les variations des frais et des droits de douane avaient constitué un défi majeur pour leur entreprise, alors que 44 % d’entre eux ont fait savoir que les frais à I’importation et à I’exportation avaient représenté un défi important pour leur entreprise.
Le sondage a été mené du 17 au 20 septembre 2019 auprès de 500 décideurs de PME du Canada. Ces entrevues ont été réalisées en ligne auprès d’un groupe de répondants. L’objectif de cette recherche est de comprendre l’incidence du commerce international sur les PME ainsi que leurs opinions sur l’économie nationale.
Appui massif à l’ALENA et à l’ACEUM
Bien que les PME canadiennes estiment que le commerce est d’une importance cruciale pour l’économie et la croissance de leur pays et de leur entreprise, bon nombre d’entre elles se heurtent à des obstacles lorsqu’elles font du commerce. Près du quart des PME canadiennes qui importent ou exportent des marchandises (24 %) affirment que les frais et les droits de douane ont eu une incidence considérable sur la croissance de leur entreprise, ce qui représente une barrière réelle quand vient le temps d’importer ou d’exporter des marchandises vers et depuis différents pays.
L’ALENA et l’Accord Canada–États-Unis-Mexique (ACEUM) bénéficient tous deux d’un soutien positif parmi les PME du Canada. Au Canada, 9 personnes interrogées sur 10 (90 %) appuient l’ALENA. Un pourcentage semblable (86 %) de PME au Canada ont exprimé leur appui à l’égard de l’ACEUM. Les PME estiment que le commerce international aidera non seulement l’économie canadienne, mais aussi leur propre entreprise. Plus de la moitié des PME canadiennes (57 %) pensent que le renforcement des échanges commerciaux entre leur pays et d’autres pays aidera leur entreprise.
« FedEx est déterminée à appuyer les politiques commerciales qui stimulent la croissance économique et la compétitivité du Canada, a soutenu Mme Lisson. Le Canada doit mettre en œuvre un programme complet axé sur la croissance et la compétitivité qui peut contribuer à renforcer notre leadership économique mondial. Étant donné que 99,5 % de la population mondiale vit à l’extérieur du Canada, nous devons continuer à trouver des moyens de réduire les obstacles qui se dressent devant les biens et services canadiens partout dans le monde. »
À propos du sondage
Ce sondage a été réalisé par Morning Consult pour le compte de FedEx entre le 17 et le 20 septembre 2019 auprès d’un échantillon de 500 gestionnaires et cadres de petites entreprises au Canada. Les entrevues ont été réalisées en ligne, et les répondants ont été interrogés au moyen de groupes de discussion en ligne. Les résultats du sondage intégral comportent une marge d’erreur de plus ou moins 4 points de pourcentage.
À propos de FedEx Corp.
FedEx Corp. (NYSE : FDX) offre à ses clients et aux entreprises du monde entier un large éventail de services de transport, de commerce électronique et de services aux entreprises. La société, dont les revenus annuels se chiffrent à 70 milliards de dollars, fournit des solutions commerciales intégrées aux entreprises par l’entremise de ses sociétés en exploitation gérées en collaboration, qui font face à la concurrence de façon collective sous le nom respecté de FedEx. Citée régulièrement comme l’un des employeurs les plus admirés et respectés au monde, FedEx exige que les 450 000 membres de son équipe restent concentrés sur la sécurité, sur le respect des normes éthiques et professionnelles les plus élevées, ainsi que sur les besoins de leurs clients et de leurs collectivités. Pour obtenir plus de renseignements sur la manière dont FedEx bâtit des ponts entre les gens et les possibilités partout dans le monde, visitez about.fedex.com.
WASHINGTON, D.C., Oct. 24, 2019 — Small business leaders increasingly view U.S. participation in global trade as the way to improve the overall economy and create American jobs, according to results of the fifth FedEx Trade Index(1), a survey of more than 1,000 small business leaders which tracks the impact of international trade among the small business segment of the U.S. economy.
The survey *, commissioned by FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) and conducted by Morning Consult, finds a substantial majority of U.S. small business leaders (82%) see increasing U.S. trade as beneficial to the overall economy, and three out of four (75%) small business decision makers said selling goods online to international customers is important to the growth of their business.
When asked about the impact of fees and tariffs on the growth of their business, 80% said there has been some degree of impact. Nearly three in four (74%) businesses surveyed said that expanding opportunities between the U.S. and customers in other countries will increase job growth in the U.S.
“FedEx knows that simplifying and expanding global trade is essential to our customers’ success. The results of the latest FedEx Trade Index confirm the negative impact of tariffs on small business growth,” said Brie Carere executive vice president, chief marketing and communications officer, FedEx Corp. “We believe everyone benefits when it’s easier to bring new ideas and products to the global market. Breaking down trade barriers is essential to creating new opportunities for our small business customers.”
Additional insights include:
- Nearly four in five small business decision makers (79%) in the United States support NAFTA.
- Sentiment for the U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA) is even higher with 84% of small business managers in the United States expressing their support of USMCA.
 The FedEx Trade Index is a national survey of more than 1000 small business leaders conducted by Morning Consult. Respondents included business owners and executives at companies with between two and 500 employees. It was conducted Sept. 12-16, 2019. The margin of error for the full sample is +/-3%.
FedEx Newsroom – August 7, 2018
New FedEx Small Business Trade Index Survey Says Trade Boosts the U.S. Economy
WASHINGTON, August 7, 2018—Small business leaders increasingly view U.S. participation in global trade as the way to improve the overall economy and create American jobs, according to results of the fourth FedEx Trade Index(1), a survey of more than 1,000 small business leaders which tracks the impact of international trade among the small business segment of the U.S. economy.
The nationwide survey*, commissioned by FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) and conducted by Morning Consult, finds a substantial majority of U.S. small business leaders (82%) see increasing U.S. trade as beneficial to the overall economy, up from 76% earlier this year, and two out of the three also say the U.S. risks falling behind if not included in trade agreements.
When asked about the impact of tariffs on imports from China, two out of three small business leaders worry the tariffs will mean higher prices on consumer items, and three out of five say the impact on business will be negative.
“Tariffs can restrict global trade and economic growth,” said Raj Subramaniam, executive vice president, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, FedEx Corp. “FedEx supports lowering trade barriers so our customers can remain competitive in an increasingly global marketplace.”
 The FedEx Trade Index is a national survey of 1004 small business leaders conducted by Morning Consult. Respondents included business owners and executives at companies with between two and 500 employees. It was conducted July 9-10, 2018. The margin of error for the full sample is +/-3%.
*FedEx SME Trade Index #1 Fall 2016
*FedEx SME Trade Index #2 Spring 2017
*FedEx SME Trade Index #3 Winter 2018
*FedEx SME Trade Index #4 Summer 2018
FedEx Newsroom – February 20, 2018
New FedEx SME Trade Index: What Small Business Says about Trade
Results of the third FedEx SME Trade Index find that small business leaders view increasing U.S. participation in global trade as the way to create American jobs and improve the economy.
The results of the survey *, commissioned by FedEx and conducted by Morning Consult, find that not only do a substantial majority of U.S. small business leaders (76%) continue to view increasing trade as beneficial to the overall U.S. economy, two out of three (68%) also say the U.S. risks falling behind if not included in trade agreements.
"Expanding trade opportunities is essential for U.S. economic growth and American jobs,” said Raj Subramaniam, executive vice president, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, FedEx Corp. “Trade agreements lower barriers to American goods and services so the U.S. can remain competitive in an increasingly global marketplace."
Additional insights from the survey include:
- 66% of small businesses say increasing exports is the best way to reduce the trade deficit
- 82% of small businesses agree job retraining and skills upgrades are a priority for Americans to compete globally
Blog – June 9, 2017
Support For Global Trade Is Growing
By: Rajesh Subramaniam
One would expect, given the anti-trade rhetoric over the past year that small business support for global trade would be declining. In fact, it’s the opposite.
The fact that marketplace changes for American small businesses now are faster, more global and more mobile has created the need for adjustments and the expansion of opportunities. At FedEx, we often hear from our own customers about the benefits of global trade, but with the recent FedEx Trade Index,* we also gathered opinions about global trade from a cross section of small business executives and managers.
The results indicate that not only do small business leaders see the growth of global supply chains and trade as beneficial, support for global trade as integral to the future of America’s prosperity continues to climb. Take a look at the following:
Trade Improves the Economy:
Eight out of 10 (84%) small business leaders not only see global trade in a good light, 80% also say it will actually improve the U.S. economy overall. These results are nearly 10% higher than last year’s survey in September 2016.
Trade Translates to Jobs:
Three out of four small business leaders (76%) said increasing global trade creates opportunities and U.S. jobs. This is up from 69 percent last year.
Trade Creates Success:
Three out of four (76%) small business leaders told us access to foreign components and parts is necessary for the U.S. to be competitive globally.
Trade Demands Job Retraining:
Nearly nine out of 10 (87%) agree the U.S. needs to update its workforce training to adapt to our economy.
While the future of trade policy may be uncertain, the future of trade’s critical importance to American economic growth remains positive for small business. It’s something we see every day at FedEx where trade IS our business. We’re firm believers that global trade continues to be good for our customers, our company and the country.
FedEx Newsroom – May 8, 2017
FedEx Trade Index: 8 in 10 Small Businesses Say Trade Will Improve the U.S. Economy
WASHINGTON, May 8, 2017 — An increasing majority of U.S. small business leaders overwhelmingly view global trade as beneficial to Americans. FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) has released results of the second FedEx Trade Index(1), a national survey of over 1,000 small business leaders which tracks the impact of international trade among the small business segment of the U.S. economy.
The results of the second survey*, commissioned by FedEx and conducted by Morning Consult, finds a significant majority (84%) of small business leaders say expanding trade between the U.S. and other countries is a good thing, up from 77% last year. Similarly, 8 in 10 small business leaders (80%) say increasing global trade will improve the U.S. economy overall, up from 71% in the 2016 Index. Three out of four small business leaders (76%) also agree increasing global trade will create opportunities and U.S. jobs, compared to 69% in September 2016.
“These results show even more American small business leaders support expanding trade than last year,” said Raj Subramaniam, executive vice president, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, FedEx Corp. “One thing is certain – small business leaders continue to view the growth of global supply chains and trade as beneficial to American workers.”
Additional insights from the survey include:
- Nearly 3 out of 4 (74%) of small business leaders say access to foreign components and parts are necessary for the U.S. to be competitive.
- Nearly 90% of small business leaders now say the U.S. must do a better job of retraining its workforce to meet the needs of today’s economy.
“Retraining U.S. workers is a critical part of keeping the American economy expanding and competitive in global markets,” added Subramaniam. “FedEx is a strong supporter of continued efforts to strengthen job retraining programs throughout the United States.”
FedEx Newsroom – September 22, 2016
FedEx Trade Index: Trade is a big deal for small business
WASHINGTON, Sept. 22, 2016—Today, FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) introduces the new FedEx Trade Index(1), a series of national surveys commissioned by FedEx and conducted by Morning Consult. The FedEx Trade Index will periodically survey over 1,000 small business leaders to track the impact of international trade among the small business segment of the U.S. economy.
The results of the first survey finds a significant majority (71%) of small businesses see increasing global trade as improving the U.S. economy. Similarly, more than three out of four small business executives (77%) view expanding trade in a positive light overall. That number spikes to 90% for small companies that already trade internationally. Small business leaders surveyed also agree (69%) that increasing global trade will create jobs in the United States.
“Even during this time of intense debate about the benefits of trade, these results indicate American small business leaders see increasing global trade as a way to help the U.S. economy as a whole, as well as their businesses,” said Raj Subramaniam, executive vice president, FedEx Services. “The rapid growth of global ecommerce, which our FedEx customers experience every day, allows more and more U.S. small businesses to benefit from international trade.”
Additional insights from the survey include:
- Small business leaders engaged in global trade say they are growing faster and hiring more employees than small businesses who do not engage in trade. Sixty-five percent of small businesses that trade say their revenue is increasing versus 46 percent of small businesses that do not trade. Small businesses that trade are also 20 percent more likely to say they are hiring more employees.
- Small business leaders are more likely to support TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement) than registered U.S. voters. Nearly half (48%) of small business leaders surveyed support TPP, more than twice the number that said they do not support the agreement. For those small businesses that engage in trade, that support for TPP rises to 66%. This contrasts with U.S. registered voters of whom 35% support TPP, according to a Morning Consult public opinion poll conducted August 8-10, 2016.
"FedEx is a strong supporter of the TPP agreement because it will help small businesses in the U.S. expand their exports by eliminating tariffs and streamlining customs procedures, while at the same time contribute to new opportunities and jobs for American workers." added Subramaniam.
Blog – September 22, 2016
Trade: A Big Deal for Small Business
By: Rajesh Subramaniam
One of the good things about this election year, whether you like it or not, is that the concept of trade – the fundamental exchange of goods and services between the U.S. and other countries – is getting a lot of attention. In the long run, that may be a positive thing.
Impassioned speeches on trade command headlines, but they also drive dialogue, and it’s in that conversation where those affected daily by trade are also heard.
Is global trade good for small business in America? Even during this time of intense debate, American small business leaders see increasing global trade as a way to help the U.S. economy as a whole, as well as their businesses.
We often hear from our own customers about the benefits of trade, but with the new FedEx Trade Index, we commissioned a nationwide survey of over a thousand small business leaders for their views. The results may surprise you.
- Seven out of 10 leaders who run small businesses not only see global trade in a good light, 71% say it will actually improve the U.S. economy, even if they are not now engaged in trade.
- That percentage spikes to 90% among small business leaders whose companies are currently engaged in global trade.
- As for revenue, 65% of small businesses that trade say their revenue is increasing versus 46% of small businesses that do not trade.
- As for hiring, small businesses that trade are 20% more likely to say they are hiring more employees than those that do not trade.
With today’s online digital economy, America’s international exports are increasingly being driven by small-and medium-sized businesses who are taking their skills, passions and products to global markets. That puts small businesses on equal footing with larger companies provided they have access to opportunity. One of the most effective ways to increase trade opportunities is through trade agreements.
Sometime this fall, Congress is expected to consider the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the agreement negotiated with 11 countries which will make U.S. products more competitive by reducing tariffs, and create more opportunities for small businesses by streamlining trade rules.
The FedEx Trade Index found nearly half (48%) of small business leaders support TPP. That’s more than twice the number who do not support the agreement. For small businesses that already engage in trade, support for TPP rises to 66 percent.
It’s encouraging during these times that the survey results show small businesses have positive stories that reinforce the benefits of increased U.S. trade. This survey was the first in an upcoming series of the FedEx Trade Index that will track opinion trends in trade issues with small business leaders.
While the next FedEx Trade Index will be conducted after the election, these results so far show small businesses in America are big supporters of global trade.
On July 1, 2020, a new trade agreement between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada took effect replacing NAFTA. This agreement is intended to create modernized rules between the three parties that address recent and emerging critical issues:
- Harmonization of regulatory systems
- Protection of intellectual property
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FedEx trade policy and Brexit experts discuss potential outcomes and how customers can prepare
December 1, 2020
This year’s COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts on public health, the global economy, travel and trade have been extraordinary. Among all this uncertainty, the United Kingdom and European Union Brexit negotiators have been trying to reach a deal on a future trading relationship before the end of the transition period on December 31, 2020.
At FedEx we have been busy responding to the pandemic, shipping critical supplies and keeping global supply chains connected, but we have not taken our eyes off Brexit and the potential changes it may bring on January 1, 2021.
To shine a light on the latest state of play and what our customers can expect in January, we’ve brought together two of our leading experts on Brexit and trade policy. Trevor Hoyle, FedEx Express Senior Vice President for Ground Operations in Europe, who has been leading our Brexit preparations since the referendum in 2016. And Ralph Carter, Vice President of Regulatory Affairs based in the United States, is our expert on all things trade and has been closely following developments from across the pond.
- Why is Brexit important to FedEx and how it will impact trade and our customers?
Trevor Hoyle: While Brexit is important to FedEx, we look at it very much through the eyes of our customers, particularly smaller businesses moving goods between the UK and EU. The simplest way to think about Brexit is that from January 1, 2021, we will all be moving goods across a new border. What exactly that border looks like will depend on the outcome of the negotiations, but it will require additional customs clearance, data and paperwork and that introduces complexity where it wasn’t there before.
FedEx has been moving goods across borders under complex, changing trading environments for over four decades, but for businesses accustomed to trading under the EU’s single market and customs union rules the uncertainty around Brexit can be daunting. Our message to businesses is that change is daunting, but you can prepare for it.
- As we stand, what are the various possible outcomes from this process?
Ralph Carter: It is still possible at this point – and officials on both sides of the Channel continue working towards this outcome – that the UK and EU reach a free trade agreement (FTA) before January 1st. This FTA would define their new trading relationship and establish protocols on everything from customs clearance procedures to tariffs.
If no agreement is reached by that date, the trade relationship will default to rules set by the World Trade Organization (WTO), of which the UK and the EU are both members.
Furthermore, the UK will no longer be part of existing EU trade agreements and is in the process of transitioning as many of these existing deals as it can. However, where the UK is unable to, then the UK’s trade relationships with these countries will also default to WTO rules.
As Trevor noted, businesses will essentially encounter a new border come January 1, 2021, regardless of the outcome and will need to adjust. Even if an agreement is reached by the end of the year, we are hopeful that there will be a traditional “implementation period” of at least a year before an agreement is fully executed.
- If the UK reverts to WTO trade rules what would the main changes be in terms of the UK-EU trading relationship in that situation? Where else in the world do businesses trade under WTO, and is it an effective trading system?
RC: The biggest day-to-day differences would likely be greater friction in the importation and customs clearance process, and in the implementation of tariffs.
To the first point, current UK-EU trade is governed by the rules of the European common market, with harmonization of rules on packaging, safety, and standards refined over decades. The switch to trading under WTO terms will require new customs clearance procedures, the payment of duties and added paperwork, which can be disruptive for those customers who aren’t prepared for the switch.
The UK would apply its new Global Tariff Schedule to the EU and be subject to the EU’s Common External Tariff, which would fall within the WTO’s “most favored nation” limits. This would be a substantial change from the current arrangement where no tariffs are imposed on goods moving between the two jurisdictions and regulatory requirements are harmonized.
As a longtime member of the EU, the UK has been conducting some of its existing trading relationships with prominent partners under these WTO rules; the United States and Australia are examples. However, these relationships are commonly complemented by small “side deals” for handling particular sectors or processes.
We’ve held the belief throughout this process that a comprehensive UK-EU Free Trade Agreement is in the overwhelming interests of all parties.
- What are the most important provisions or chapters that should be addressed in a UK-EU FTA?
RC: At a high level, the best trade deal between the EU and the UK is one that minimizes trade and administrative barriers, keeps customs processes streamlined, maintains regulatory cooperation and makes it easier for businesses of all sizes to bring new ideas and products to the global market.
To reduce friction in the trade process, an FTA should incorporate trade facilitation measures that minimize delays at the border, including reciprocal road and air access to keep goods moving. Simplified customs clearance processes that draw on similar data and documentation standards also help with this – ideally, much of this data and paperwork could even be submitted digitally in advance of reaching the physical border. Any required physical inspections should be performed away from the border to avoid congestion and delays.
- What do Brexit and the Withdrawal Agreement mean for the movement of goods between Northern Ireland and Ireland, and between Northern Ireland and Great Britain?
RC: There are still a number of details to work out, but in accordance with the Northern Ireland Protocol established by the Withdrawal Agreement, the UK has assured that trade in goods from Northern Ireland to Great Britain should take place as it does today without additional processes, paperwork or restrictions. However, trade in goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland will require some form of import declaration, and digital safety and security information. So, for the first time, there will be documents needed to move goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.
Trade from Northern Ireland to Ireland and other EU member states will have no change in practice and will continue unaffected. For goods moving from Northern Ireland to the world, Northern Ireland will follow the UK’s free trade agreements. However, pending UK legislation could alter some of these arrangements.
- How has FedEx prepared for Brexit?
TH: For the last four years, we have been planning for a range of Brexit outcomes, across a range of key areas including our customs clearance capabilities, customer service, networks, ground operations, IT and finance processes. There have really been three major planks to our preparation:
The first has been network planning to mitigate potential delays. Our network team have built plans to protect our air and road schedules so that we are prepared for what the future might hold.
The second is adaptation to the new trading relationship. FedEx is one of the largest customs brokers in the world, and we are drawing on that experience to help ensure our clearance teams are ready for the new rules and requirements to keep goods flowing from 1st January.
The third has been customer communication and support. This is by far the most critical component of our preparations, because individual business readiness impacts the whole system of trade between borders.
- What do businesses need to do to prepare for Brexit?
TH: As I’ve already mentioned, change can be daunting but we know it’s coming and you can prepare for it.
There are five key steps all exporters need to take now to prepare for 1st January.
You will need to classify your goods for them to be customs cleared in a timely manner. You should identify the appropriate HS code and description for your products. This is one of the main reasons why goods are stopped at customs.
It sounds simple, but check the rules for exporting your products. Certain products and goods have additional checks and standards, so businesses need to check with their country authority guidance for the latest information.
Next, agree to your International Commercial Terms with your customers. Incoterms are the rules that define who is responsible for a shipment throughout the shipping process, such as risk, costs and insurance. These need to be agreed and specified on your commercial invoice.
Ensure your receiver or the importer in the UK understand their obligations, the new import rules and tariffs in the UK and has provided the appropriate clearance instructions to FedEx in the UK.
Finally, ensure your commercial invoice is complete and includes the items I’ve just walked through. Unclear invoices are another major reason why goods can be delayed at customs.
Much of this is just good hygiene for businesses used to trading outside the current EU customer framework – it will make all the difference come 1st January.
- As the UK looks to chart its course as an independent trading nation, what should we all be looking for in terms of its trading relationships in the coming 12 months?
RC: The coming months are an opportunity for “Global Britain” to design modern trade agreements that are built for the future. For instance, issues like e-commerce and digital trade are incredibly important in today’s global economy, but they weren’t on any trade negotiator’s radar even just a couple of decades ago.
Additionally, agreements down the road with strong existing trading partners like the United States, for example, could help set a gold standard in trade facilitation commitments for the world to follow.
Amid all this, we can’t forget that the UK and the world are facing a pandemic that continues to pose great challenges to the global economy. Any upcoming trade deals will be set against this backdrop and both the UK and its trading partners will look to open and liberal trade agreements to spur economic recovery.
- Trevor, you’ve been working on this for over four years now – what have you learned?
TH: I have learnt that having a good team around you and keeping a sense of humour is important! In all seriousness, we have been working on this for a long time now and we’ve faced several stops and starts as the negotiations have progressed. We have incredible expertise at FedEx, so I have always been confident in our ability to prepare. The thing that has made a difference on this long, winding journey has been having a good group of people that can support each other and keep smiling.
For more information on customer preparations for the future, visit fedex.com/brexit.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, FedEx team members have worked diligently to ensure that critical goods and supplies keep moving around the world to where they are needed most.
The world now faces the next coronavirus-related challenge: the production and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. With this massive global undertaking on the horizon—requiring the safe and secure transport of everything from glass vials to temperature-sensitive vaccines—FedEx is already working with the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS), U.S. Dept. of Defense and healthcare customers on vaccine distribution plans.
Whether in the air, on the road or awaiting transport from a FedEx facility to its next destination, vaccine and bioscience shipments require specific temperatures to remain viable. At the heart of safe and quick transportation for vaccine shipments is the “cold chain,” or a temperature-controlled supply chain, and the ability to maintain critical temperatures for a shipment from origin to end user.
Thanks to lessons from previous public health emergencies such as the H1N1 virus, FedEx leadership realized the importance of expanded cold storage capabilities for healthcare shipments well before the emergence of COVID-19, enabling better preparation for today’s needs.
“Fortunately, H1N1 did not rise to the level of the pandemic we thought it could be,” FedEx Express regional president of the Americas and EVP of Global Support Richard W. Smith recently told the New York Times. “But that allowed us to really beef up our cold chain infrastructure.”
Over the past decade, FedEx has worked with its government and healthcare customers in the U.S. and around the world to ship flu vaccines each year. This year is no exception. FedEx is working to help respond to increased demand for the seasonal flu vaccine.
In the past three years, FedEx has added more than 10 secure cold chain facilities across the global network. FedEx now has cold chain capabilities at more than 90 locations across the Americas, Asia, Australia and Europe, with plans to open additional facilities in coming years.
Temperature-sensitive materials also need to remain cold while on the move, whether through specialty refrigerated trailers, thermal blankets or dry ice on planes. In working with the Federal Aviation Administration, FedEx has significantly increased the capability to safely carry dry ice aboard cargo aircraft, enabling FedEx Express to move healthcare shipments like vaccines between more than 100 countries on its fleet of Boeing 767s and 777s, where country-level regulations allow.
FedEx technology will help ensure that temperature sensitive shipments including vaccines move safely and quickly through the cold chain. FedEx team members and customers alike can track both a shipment’s location and physical condition using FedEx SenseAware, a tracking solution that relays internal and external information about a shipment in real time. Shipments in the U.S. will benefit from even greater precision tracking via new Bluetooth-enabled (BLE) enabled SenseAware ID technology, which is already being rolled out to a set of customers in the healthcare space and also the First Overnight (FO) shipments.
With an established cold chain network and capabilities, new shipment monitoring technology and more than a decade of expertise in handling vaccine and other bioscience shipments, FedEx is equipped to meet the demands of COVID-19 vaccine distribution head-on.
“Our team members don’t shy away from complex situations. In fact, they embrace the challenge and look for new ways to get critical shipments where they need to be safely and quickly,” Smith says. “With our role in helping with the distribution of temperature-sensitive vaccines and other bioscience supplies, means that our commitment to delivering ‘the world on time’ is more critical than ever.
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