Mar 21 2012

South Carolina House of Representatives Backs Export-Import Bank Reauthorization

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today said he appreciates the South Carolina House of Representatives swift passage of a resolution urging the United States Congress and the South Carolina congressional delegation to support the reauthorization of the Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank.


“The reauthorization of Ex-Im will directly benefit South Carolina’s job creation efforts and manufacturing industries,” said Graham, who has been leading Republican efforts in the Senate to reauthorize the bank as its charter expires May 31.  “It is imperative we continue to grow our ability to export goods made in South Carolina around the world.  I also want to thank Speaker Bobby Harrell for spearheading this effort and the members of the legislature who supported the resolution.”


Graham noted both large and small businesses in South Carolina have benefitted from Ex-Im.  One of the most prominent examples is The Boeing Company which opened the 787 Dreamliner production facility in North Charleston.  The facility employs more than 6,000 people in South Carolina and is responsible for thousands of associated jobs.


In a letter sent to Graham, Jim McNerney, President and CEO of Boeing, noted that eight out of every ten Boeing 787 Dreamliners built in South Carolina are expected to be purchased by international customers who are eligible for and routinely seek export credit support from Ex-Im Bank.  Without Ex-Im, many of these customers would purchase from Airbus, which is made in Europe and backed by multiple European export credit agencies.


“I wish we didn’t need an Ex-Im bank,” said Graham.  “But other countries have far more aggressive financing regimes in place.  The United States cannot and should not unilaterally disarm.  However, it is my goal to do more than reauthorize Ex-Im.  It must be reformed.  I look forward to working with my Senate colleagues to achieve both goals of reauthorization and reform.


“Last year, exports from South Carolina increased by 21 percent,” continued Graham.  “We need to continue on that path, creating jobs and putting South Carolinians back to work.  If Congress does not reauthorize Ex-Im, it will have a devastating impact to both our state and national economy.”


The Export-Import Bank was established in 1934 and since Ex-Im was last reauthorized in 2006, the bank has returned $3.4 billion to the U.S. Treasury above and beyond the costs of its operations.