Small Business Contracting in the United States and Europe: A Comparative Assessment
Kidalov, Max V.
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On Jul 27, 2009 the European Commission (EC) issued its annual report, United States Barriers to Trade and Investment Report for 2008, where it once again republished its complaint that "small business setaside schemes, exemplified by the Small Business Act of 1953," are discriminatory measures that "limit bidding opportunities for EU (or European Union) contractors" in the US procurement market. As this Article demonstrates, small business has long held a special place in the Western public procurement systems both in Europe and in the US. Public authorities on both sides of the Atlantic use the demand created by government contracts to stimulate competitive private entrepreneurship and greater economic development within their borders. In 2003, both the US and the combined European economies had gross domestic products roughly equal to $11 trillion. With admission of twelve new members since 2003, the EU now includes twenty-seven countries.