May 21 2015
Contact: Kevin Bishop (864) 250-1417 or Lorcan Connick (202) 224-5972
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) said he was pleased with the agreement reached in the Senate that will allow the body to vote on reauthorization of the Export-Import (EXIM) Bank.
“I’ve never felt better about the opportunity to reauthorize EXIM Bank than I do today,” said Graham. “I want to thank Majority Leader McConnell and my Senate colleagues for working together to ensure a vote on the bank’s reauthorization in June before its charter expires.
“However, the most important aspect of the agreement is we will also have the opportunity to vote on EXIM reauthorization attached to the Highway Trust Fund reauthorization,” said Graham. “I’m confident the combination of these two votes will demonstrate strong bipartisan support for the bank and will ultimately lead to its reauthorization.”
Graham noted EXIM is crucial to many of the top manufacturing companies in South Carolina, including Boeing’s 787 production 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 EXIM financing. The facility employs more than 7,000 people in South Carolina and is responsible for thousands of associated jobs.
“I commend Senators Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott for their tireless efforts to support United States' manufacturers by working to reauthorize the U.S. Export Import Bank,” said Beverly Wyse, Boeing South Carolina vice president and general manager. “Our senators realize how critical the Export Import Bank is to South Carolina jobs—because of the Ex-Im Bank we are able to build airplanes in South Carolina to sell to customers all over the world. Jobs and economic development in South Carolina should be a top priority for all our elected officials. I thank Senators Graham and Scott for looking beyond Washington politics and doing what is right for the people of their state.”
“Senator Graham really went to bat for South Carolina manufacturers to secure a path forward on Export Import Bank reauthorization,” said Shane Long, Greenville Gas Turbine Plant Manager for General Electric (GE) Power and Water. “This Bank is a critical tool in allowing GE to win against global competitors. His commitment to US manufacturers is critical to the 3500 jobs at the Greenville and Piedmont GE facilities and the thousands of other workers who rely on exports in this state.”
“The biggest beneficiary of closing down the Bank will be China. If EXIM and its competitive financing go away, the United States will lose the market share we have today,” said Graham. “I’m not willing to unilaterally disarm when all of our competitors have EXIM Banks. As a matter of fact, China's EXIM Bank is bigger than the banks of the United States, France, England, and Germany combined.”
“Would I like to live in a world where there were no EXIM Banks?” questioned Graham. “Sure. But the world I refuse to live in is one where we shut our EXIM Bank down and China keeps theirs open. I am not doing that. That is unilateral surrender.”
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.