The New Democrat Coalition, a moderate, pro-growth group of Congressional Democrats, met with Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im Bank) Chairman Fred Hochberg on Wednesday to discuss the Bank’s importance to the U.S. economy and the need for Congressional support as its reauthorization looms. The Bank serves as the official U.S. export credit agency (ECA), providing financing and export credit insurance for U.S. exports to foreign buyers. The Bank’s charter must be approved by Congress and the most recent authorization is set to expire on September 30, 2014. The New Democrats voiced their support for the Ex-Im Bank and plan to support a bipartisan reauthorization effort. Coalition Chairman Ron Kind (D-WI), who recently spoke at the NAM, said that the bank “is an important tool in our economic arsenal,” adding that reauthorization efforts should start sooner rather than later for the sake of business certainty.
The Ex-Im Bank is an important tool for manufacturers seeking to reach international markets. It is particularly critical for small and medium-sized manufacturing companies, since nearly 90% of the Ex-Im Bank’s transactions directly support small businesses. In an increasingly global economy, manufacturers must compete with foreign companies who are supported by official ECAs in 59 other countries, including China. In providing financing for U.S. exporters, the Bank reduces our deficit by generating more than $1 billion for the U.S. Treasury and helps maintain U.S. competitiveness in the global economy.
The most recent authorization occurred was passed with bipartisan support in May 2012, and the NAM led the business community’s advocacy campaign in support of the Bank. Facing vocal opponents, the NAM arranged hundreds of Congressional meetings, hosted briefings, and organized a coalition letters in support of the Bank – including a letter supporting Ex-Im Bank’s reauthorization that was signed by 326 companies and associations. With the New Democrats characterizing reauthorization as “far from certain,” the NAM is preparing for a robust advocacy campaign in 2014 to ensure that this critical tool remains available for manufacturers in the future.