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 the fifth FedEx Trade Index, a survey of more than 1,000 small business leaders that tracks the impact of international trade among the small business segment of the U.S. economy.

The survey, commissioned by FedEx Corp., Memphis, Tenn., and conducted by Morning Consult, Washington, D.C., 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 growth of their business.

When asked about the impact of fees and tariffs on 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 United States and customers in other countries will increase job growth in the United States.

“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,” says Brie Carere, executive vice president, chief marketing and communications officer. “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 1,000 small business leaders. Respondents included business owners and executives at companies with between 2-500 employees. It was conducted Sept. 12-16. The margin of error for the full sample is +/-3%.