Jul 24 2015
Contact: Clint Riddle 202-224-5972 or Kevin Bishop 864-250-1417
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) has pushed to the top of the Senate agenda an amendment to reauthorize the Export-Import (EX-IM) Bank of the United States for another four years. A vote on the amendment is expected in the coming days.
The EX-IM Bank, which plays an instrumental role in helping American manufacturers sell American-made products overseas, saw its charter expire at the beginning of July. A message on the Bank website says, “Due to a lapse in EX-IM Bank’s authority, as of July 1, 2015, the Bank is unable to process applications or engage in new business or other prohibited activities.” (http://www.exim.gov/authority-has-lapsed/)
“We cannot unilaterally disarm while competitor nations keep their banks open and operating,” said Graham. “As a matter of fact, China’s export credit agencies have financed more than the United States, Germany, Canada and the United Kingdom combined. Just one of China’s EX-IM Banks has authorized more financing in the last two years ($670 billion) than our EX-IM Bank has since its founding eight decades ago ($600 billion).
“Would I like to live in a world where there were no EX-IM Banks?” questioned Graham. “Sure. But I refuse to live in a world where we close our EX-IM Bank and China keeps theirs open. I am not doing that. That is unilateral surrender.”
Graham noted EX-IM is crucial to many of the top manufacturing companies in South Carolina and across the nation.
In the Palmetto State, EX-IM financing is critical to Boeing’s 787 production facility in North Charleston and General Electric’s gas turbine production in Greenville. Approximately eight out of every ten Boeing 787 Dreamliners that have been built in South Carolina are eligible for EX-IM financing. The facility employs more than 7,000 people in South Carolina and is responsible for thousands of associated jobs.
“If our EX-IM Bank and its competitive financing go away permanently, the United States will lose market share and it will cost us jobs,” concluded Graham. “Other nations are cheering the ill-conceived decision to close the doors to EX-IM while they keep their export banks open for business.”
Established in 1934, the Bank guarantees loans and credit to businesses otherwise unable to operate through private lenders. Nearly 90 percent of the Bank's transactions each year directly benefit small businesses, and the Bank supports more than 205,000 American jobs. In 2013, the Bank returned more than $1 billion to the United States Treasury.