Govs. Jay Inslee (D-WA), Robert Bentley (R-AL) and a bipartisan group of 31 governors sent a letter today to congressional leaders urging swift action to reauthorize the U.S. Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank, whose charter expires in 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,” the governors wrote.
The Ex-Im Bank is the official credit export agency of the United States, charged with assisting in financing the export of American goods and services. More than 90 percent of U.S. exports are privately financed. But in many cases private lenders are unable or unwilling to take on credit risks or enter unfamiliar markets. In those cases, Ex-Im can provide loans, loan guarantees, or insurance to worthy businesses to promote exports and assist growth.
In 2013 alone Ex-Im financed over $34 billion in exports and supported approximately 205,000 American jobs. Financing from the bank allows American businesses to compete fairly against foreign competitors who receive trade financing from their national export credit agencies.
In addition to those who signed the Inslee-Bentley letter, six other governors have written individually to congressional leaders requesting action to reauthorize the bank, bringing the total number of governors who have publicly called for reauthorization to 37.
The text of the Inslee-Bentley letter sent today to the leaders of the U.S. House and Senate states:
“Dear Speaker Boehner, Leader Reid, Leader Pelosi and Leader McConnell:
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.
We strongly urge you to support U.S. exports and jobs by approving legislation that reauthorizes the Export-Import Bank. It is the right thing to do for our economy, companies and workers.”