WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), a leading proponent and one of the most outspoken supporters of the Export-Import (EXIM) Bank, said he was pleased that the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate are sending legislation which puts the bank back in business to President Obama.
Graham noted South Carolina and the United States were hurt on the job front for the more than five months as the EXIM Bank was closed for business. In September, General Electric said it would locate 400 jobs in France instead of its power turbine plant in Greenville and two other locations in the United States because of the lack of availability of EXIM financing. (http://grnol.co/1QEnvYD)
"I don’t think there is any doubt that the shutdown of EXIM cost us jobs in South Carolina and across the nation,” said Graham. “This wasn't an academic debate. There were real people holding real jobs who were hurt by the closing of EXIM. It was irresponsible for the United States to unilaterally disarm while other nations with export credit agencies, many of them much larger than ours, took advantage of our unforced error. We should never make that mistake again.”
Graham noted the Bank’s reauthorization provides South Carolina an opportunity to expand its robust manufacturing sector. The Bank’s reauthorization signals to exporters and their suppliers, the United States is committed to ensuring a level playing field and international competitiveness. This certainty allows our manufacturing sectors and future investors to continue job growth in South Carolina.
Graham played an instrumental role in putting the bank back in business. Graham forced Senate votes which would put the body on record in support of the bank, paving the path for eventual reauthorization.
“Today is good news for both small and large businesses in South Carolina who use EXIM financing to sell their goods and services overseas” said Graham. “Whether it’s Boeing building 787 Dreamliners in North Charleston, General Electric building gas turbines in Greenville, or one of the many small manufacturers across our state, this is a good day for job creation. American businesses will now once again be competing on a level playing field in the international marketplace. It's long overdue."
Established in 1934, EXIM is the official export credit agency of the United States. EXIM is an independent, self-sustaining agency with a mission of supporting American jobs by facilitating the export of U.S. goods and services. 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.