Smaller exporters, in particular, can be particularly vulnerable to such currency swings, as they often can't afford the luxury of having onshore and offshore facilities, nor do they have the ability to lower prices.
Preliminary data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that as of 2013, nearly 95 percent of all identified U.S. exporters were small or medium-size businesses, with 295,241 exporters accounting for more than $477 million. This is the most recent data available for small exporters.
"Private companies with international customers or plants face stiffer competition from foreign competitors that haven't had their prices go up," said Libby Bierman, an analyst with financial information company Sageworks. "They may be going to other competitors for sourcing."
"American manufacturers may be trying to beef up their domestic operations to find new sources of clients," added Molly Day, a spokeswoman for the Small Business Exporters Association of the United States.
For manufacturers like Garrett Blake, who started the Upstanding Bicycle Company in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, over a year ago, a more robust dollar means pricing pressure. Blake makes about 200 carbon fiber bike support stands in his facility each day with a staff of five. He has distributors in Japan, Australia, Singapore, Thailand and Greece; overall exports make up about 30 percent of his business.
"I just received an order from Japan, and (my distributor's) orders are down a bit. Distributors tell you that the product has to be priced higher for them to keep their profit margin, so that does have an effect on us," he said. "We've tried to cut where we can to help our distributors, which slows our growth down from a monetary standpoint for capital to keep investing in our business."
In the past three to four months he's also seen the company's direct consumer orders drop off overseas via his website, in response to the dollar's climb.