U.S. Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) joined Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL), Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) and a bipartisan group of colleagues in introducing S. 819, the Export-Import Bank Reform and Reauthorization Act of 2015, which will reauthorize the Bank’s charter until September 30, 2019, increase small business lending, support American jobs and minimize risk to taxpayers by enhancing bank oversight. The Bank’s current authorization is set to expire on June 30, 2015.
From 2007 to 2015, the Export-Import Bank has helped Virginia businesses export two billion dollars in goods to countries around the globe. 205,000 American jobs are supported by the Bank, which levels the playing field for U.S. exporters abroad by matching the financing that other governments provide to their exporters.
“The Export-Import Bank helps businesses across Virginia export hundreds of millions of dollars of goods each year. It supports more than 200,000 American jobs at no cost to taxpayers and helps our companies stay competitive in the global economy,” said Sen. Warner. “As someone who has been in business longer than I’ve been in politics, I know a good deal when I see one. This just makes smart business sense. I’m proud to be joining this sensible, bipartisan bill to reauthorize and reform the Ex-Im Bank.”
“This bill contains over a dozen reforms which have brought together a bipartisan coalition of senators who agree that American businesses, large and small, cannot unilaterally disarm against our global competitors,”Sen. Kirk said.
“If we in Congress are committed to supporting small businesses, we must reauthorize this agency that supports close to 6,000 small businesses around this country, including many in North Dakota – period,” said Sen. Heitkamp. “For years, we have unnecessarily jumped from deadline to deadline, using the Export-Import Bank as a political bargaining chip instead of rewarding its proven track record of supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs across this country with a default rate that’s almost negligible at less than one fifth of a percent. North Dakota businesses produce some of the best products in the world, and the Bank helps them sell more of their products abroad, grow jobs, and expand their businesses – that’s good for everyone. Small businesses in North Dakota and across this country who work hard are counting on Congress to work together to get this done, and it’s past time for us to do our part.”
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.
The bank supports exports from every corner of Virginia. 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.
The Export-Import Bank operates with no cost to the taxpayer. In 2013 the bank returned more than $1 billion to the U.S. Treasury.
- Reduces risk to taxpayers by requiring higher loan loss reserves.
- Puts greater focus on small businesses by increasing the required lending to small businesses from 20 percent to 25 percent.
- Increases oversight of bank practices. It creates a Chief Risk Officer and a Risk Management Committee to oversee the Bank’s operations, requires the Inspector General to audit the Bank’s risk management procedures regularly, and creates a non-political Chief Ethics Officer to oversee ethics practices of Bank employees.
Sens. Warner, Kirk and Heitkamp were joined in introducing the bill by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Roy Blunt (D-MO), Joe Donnelly (D-IN) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH).