The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) called on Congress to swiftly reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank before a September deadline.
“For manufacturers, this is a serious threat looming on the horizon. If Congress fails to reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank, lawmakers will be responsible for slowing manufacturing’s growth and handing countries like China a competitive edge. Now is not the time to squander the historic progress we’ve made in recent years,” said Jay Timmons, the president and chief executive officer of NAM.
Timmons made his remark in a press release applauding Senate confirmation on Wednesday of Kimberly Reed as president of the Ex-Im Bank and Judith DelZoppo Pryor and former U.S. Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., to its board.
The Politico website noted, “The bank, which has provided billions of dollars in loan guarantees to foreign buyers of U.S. exports, will now be able to return to full operation for the first time since 2015, when its board lost a quorum necessary to approve transactions larger than $10 million.”
The Koch brothers-backed group Americans for Prosperity calls the Ex-Im Bank “a symbol of the rigged system of corporate welfare and cronyism that undermines competition, stifles job creation and unjustly empowers the government to pick winners and losers.”
Politico said the three appointments “will likely benefit giants such as Boeing and Caterpillar because the agency will once again have the ability to approve large financing deals.”
NAM said the appointments “will significantly enhance manufacturers’ competitiveness against foreign nations, including China,” adding, “This bipartisan victory will be short-lived, however, if Congress does not act swiftly to reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank before the September deadline.”
Timmons said, “Now that the Export-Import Bank is on track to be fully functional again, after a four-year hiatus, manufacturers in America can once more reach their full potential and more aggressively compete against China and others. While the agency was sidelined, billions of dollars’ worth of deals were lost to foreign competitors, resulting in tens of thousands of unrealized manufacturing jobs.”
NAM said the Ex-Im Bank has supported 1.7 million American jobs over the past 10 years, that more than 90 percent of the Ex-Im Bank’s transactions directly support small businesses and that the agency has generated $9.6 billion for taxpayers since 1992.
The letter added that “the core of the Export-Import Bank’s business is to back loans made to foreign customers of a handful of U.S. businesses, which tilts the playing field in favor of well-connected businesses and to the detriment of everyone else. Before losing its quorum in 2015, 65% of the Export-Import Bank’s activities benefited just 10 large and already successful domestic firms. Despite claims that 90% of the businesses to which it provides support are small businesses, recent analysis from Veronique de Rugy of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University shows that Caterpillar and Boeing were included as the first- and fourth-largest beneficiaries of ‘small business’ funds.”
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