Small Tech Companies Urge Congress to Support the TPP

Indyme-Employee-Photo_editIndyme is a technology company headquartered in San Diego, California. Launched in 1989, Indyme supplies retailers with customer engagement and loss prevention tools. These tools are used across a wide range of in-store applications including product theft protection, security, fitting room management, customer help buttons, satisfaction surveys and queue management.

All of these in-store events are captured in a cloud based analytics database.  Leading retailers use Indyme’s SmartResponse system to increase sales, reduce theft and improve operational efficiency. Indyme’s Smart Response systems are installed in over 25,000 retail stores around the world including major chains such as Lowe's, Walgreens, Target, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Kohl’s.

CEO Joe Budano took over Indyme in 2013 with a mandate to increase the pace of innovation and expand the company’s global footprint. Joe has a successful track record turning around small- to medium-sized businesses by energizing their engineering and taking these largely U.S.-focused companies on a global expansion.

“Three years ago we focused Indyme on globalizing the company," he said. "We began selling our products in Latin America and opened a direct sales office in Germany serving Europe.” What resulted was significant. “We added 30 jobs to support this new revenue and our international sales represents 20 percent of our business today,” Budano said. “We would not have seen this kind of headcount growth if we remained solely U.S. focused. The strong international growth turbo-charged our sales, and, as a result, we are able to reinvest in the business and hire new employees across engineering, marketing and sales to support this growth.”

Indyme ships security systems, anti-theft gates, IT products and other goods around the world to access their customers. Budano said that what comes with this is an array of tax barriers that force him to push up the cost of his product; making them less competitive in a global marketplace. 

The negotiated Trans-Pacific Partnerships (TPP) will remove 18,000 tariffs on U.S. exports, including those on information and communication technology (ICT) goods. Under TPP, expanded market access to key countries will be possible, including to Japan, which is a market with real growth opportunity for Indyme. Other TPP countries such as Brunei, Malaysia, New Zealand and Vietnam will slash ICT tariffs as well.

TPP is the first trade agreement to recognize the vital importance of the tech sector to the global economy. Under the e-commerce chapter, several cutting-edge provisions would boost trade in digital goods and services by supporting a free and open Internet and easing the flow of data across borders. 

Budano is urging Congress to pass the TPP. “Trade is not just a big company thing; it’s a small company thing," he said. "Small businesses are the engine of growth in the U.S. and we need policies -- like the TPP -- that will support American exporters.”

As the global leader in the IT industry, CompTIA is urging Congress to approve the TPP. In order for this to occur, Congress needs to hear from constituents that approving TPP is a priority for the tech sector. Take action now.