With the Export-Import Bank set to expire on September 30, the pressure to reauthorize the Bank – and protect the hundreds of thousands of jobs it supports – continues to mount. Yesterday a group of 31 governors, including 11 Republicans, wrote a letter to Congress urging them to reauthorize the bank, which is crucial in supporting U.S. jobs and maintaining American competitiveness. Here are some of the highlights:
“As governors of states whose economies and workers benefit from exports, we urge you to reauthorize the U.S. Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im) before its charter expires this year. In its role as the official U.S. export credit agency, Ex-Im is a vital export finance tool for exporters in our states, at no cost to American taxpayers.”
“Ex-Im allows our companies and workers to compete on a level playing field against our competitors, which receive extensive support from their own export credit agencies. Without Ex-Im financing, which assumes the credit and country risks that the private sector is unable or unwilling to accept, U.S. firms would have lost many sales campaigns to their overseas competitors. As the economies of our states continue to improve, it is especially important that we recognize the important role Ex-Im plays in supporting U.S. exports and jobs.”
“In fiscal year 2013, Ex-Im provided more than $27.3 billion in financing, which enabled $34.7 billion in exports. These exports supported about 205,000 American jobs in states across the country. Moreover, Ex-Im plays a strong role in supporting small businesses. In 2013, over 3,400—or more than 90 percent—of Ex-Im’s transactions involved small businesses.”
“Ex-Im is also good for U.S. taxpayers because it is financially self-sustaining. In fact, over the past five years, on top of creating or sustaining one million American jobs, Ex-Im has earned over $2
billion for U.S. taxpayers through the fees the agency charges for its services.”
“Ex-Im’s authorization will expire at the end of this September. Failure to reauthorize the agency’s operations will place U.S. companies at a serious disadvantage, which would inevitably lead to fewer exports and the loss of thousands of jobs in our states.”
Texas Governor Rick Perry also wrote his own letter urging Congressional leaders to take steps toward reauthorization. We hope Texas Congressman and Financial Services Committee Chairman, Jeb Hensarling, who is one of the most vocal opponents of the Bank, will listen to what his Governor has to say. Washington Post reports:
“… In June, Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), considering a second run for the White House, sent his own letter to congressional leaders urging them to extend the life of the bank. The Export-Import Bank has agreed to finance $24 billion in exports from Texas alone between 2007 and 2014, according to the bank’s data.
“‘The Ex-Im Bank’s services are essential in helping small and medium-sized Texas businesses to thrive,’ Perry wrote. ‘Failure to reauthorize the agency’s operations could place Texas and many U.S. companies at a serious competitive disadvantage in the global marketplace.’”
This letter comes less than a month after 41 House Republicans sent a similar message to Speaker Boehner. This comes as no surprise if you look at all the businesses supported by the Bank on a district-by-district basis. It’s time for the Speaker to listen to his fellow Republicans – we know Export-Import Bank reauthorization has the votes to pass, so let the House work its will.