May 20 2015

Graham Pushes for Vote on Reauthorization of the Export-Import (EX-IM) Bank

Contact: Kevin Bishop (864) 250-1417 or Lorcan Connick (202) 224-5972

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) took to the Senate floor last night to demand a vote on reauthorization of the Export-Import (EX-IM) Bank before it expires on June 30th.

The Bank 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 EX-IM financing. The facility employs more than 7,000 people in South Carolina and is responsible for thousands of associated jobs.

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.

  • “Here is what I am worried about: If our Bank expires, then the market share we have today because we have competitive financing goes away, and the biggest beneficiary of closing down the Bank will be China. I’m not going to subject American manufacturers to trying to sell their products overseas without EXIM financing while all their competitors have an EXIM bank. As a matter of fact, China's bank is bigger than the banks of the United States, France, England, and Germany combined.”
  • “To the people who are trying to make this the scalp for conservatism, I think you’ve lost your way. This Bank makes money for the taxpayers. This Bank doesn't lose money. This Bank allows American manufacturers who are doing business in the developing world to have a competitive foothold against their competitors in China and throughout Europe who have access to EXIM financing. All we are talking about is an American-made product sold in the developing world where you cannot get traditional financing.”
  • “The EXIM Bank has been around for decades. Ronald Reagan was for the EXIM Bank. The EXIM Bank is directly responsible for helping to sell Boeing aircraft made in South Carolina. Seventy percent of the production in South Carolina is eligible for EXIM financing. There are thousands of small businesses which benefit from manufactured products sold in the developing world through EXIM financing.”
  • “Would I like to live in a world where there were no EXIM Banks? Sure. But the world I am not going to live in is where we shut our EXIM Bank down and China keeps theirs open. I am not doing that. That is not trade. That is just idiotic. That is unilateral surrender.”
  • “Come to South Carolina and tell the people at Boeing and all of their suppliers – and go to the Greenville GE plant that hires thousands of South Carolinians and all of their small business suppliers – why it is a good idea for America to shut down a bank that makes money for the taxpayers that allows us to be competitive. Tell them how you think that is a good way to grow our economy. Tell those people who have good jobs in South Carolina – and who will surely lose market share because we closed our Bank down – how proud they should be of your ideological purity.”
  • “You will not be able to shut this Bank down without a vote. If you feel that good about your position, let's have a vote on the floor of the Senate and on the floor of the House. The one thing we will not do is let the Bank die without a debate and a vote, and that debate and vote must come before June 30 because the damage will have been done.”
  • “I will not sit on the sidelines and watch jobs in my State be lost because of some ideological crusade, the biggest beneficiaries of which, in my view, would be China and our European competitors. If you really do care about China's effect in the world marketplace, shutting the Ex-Im Bank down in America and allowing China to keep theirs open is a deathblow to American manufacturers that sell in the developing world.”