Mark Warner welcomes House vote to renew the Export-Import Bank
“The Export-Import Bank helps sustain hundreds of thousands of middle class jobs in the U.S., and it does so at no cost to the taxpayer,” said Sen. Warner. “With it, U.S. businesses are able to export billions of dollars in goods and services each year. Without it, our exporters face a major disadvantage against their foreign competitors.”
“Already, we’re seeing real economic consequences from Congress’ failure to reauthorize the Bank’s charter before it expired in July. Last month, Dulles-based Orbital lost out on a satellite contract because it couldn’t secure Ex-Im backing. Major American manufacturers like Boeing and General Electric have already made moves to close factories, lay off workers and shift jobs to countries that haven’t unilaterally disarmed on export financing. Now add to those losses all the suppliers and small businesses that rely on these companies to stay afloat, and you’re talking about thousands of jobs in jeopardy because some members of Congress are more interested in scoring political points than in doing right by American workers. At a time when our manufacturers and exporters are already suffering from substantial global economic uncertainty, Washington shouldn’t make it worse by killing off an important tool that helps American businesses compete in a global economy.”
“Leader McConnell knows that the Export-Import Bank has strong bipartisan support and would pass if brought to the floor for a vote. I strongly urge him to do so without delay and end this self-inflicted damage to the American economy.”
Established in 1934, the Export-Import Bank is an export credit agency through which the government guarantees loans and credit to businesses otherwise unable to operate through private lenders. It has been reauthorized 16 times with bipartisan support under 13 different Presidents, Republican and Democrat, but Congress’ failure to renew its charter allowed the Bank to expire on July 1, 2015, halting all new loan activity and forcing the Bank to wind down its current operations. Sen. Warner is an original co-sponsor of the Export-Import Bank Reform and Reauthorization Act of 2015, which would reauthorize the Bank’s charter until September 30, 2019.
Last year, the Bank supported $27.5 billion worth of U.S. exports – $10.7 billion of those exports from small businesses – while generating a $675 million surplus for American taxpayers. Since 2009, the Bank has supported 1.3 million private-sector U.S. jobs.
The Export-Import Bank helped businesses from every corner of Virginia export $2 billion in goods and services between 2007 and 2015. Some of the top Virginia exporters supported by Ex-Im include Bristol Compressors International, Orbital Science Corporation in Dulles, Mitsubishi Plastics Composites America in Chesapeake,and Optical Cable Corporation in Roanoke. Last year, 90 percent of Ex-Im Bank transactions directly supported small businesses such as Mountain Lumber Co. in Ruckersville, Turkey Knob Growers in Timberville, Bone Doctors’ BBQ in Charlottesville, and Catoctin Creek Distilling Company in Loudoun.
In July, the Senate voted 67-26 in favor of reauthorizing the Bank’s charter as an amendment to federal highway spending legislation. With the future of that legislation uncertain, the Senate would need to take up and pass today’s House bill in order to provide American exporters with needed predictability.