The U.S. Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank supports nearly 1.5 million jobs in the United States and is critical for American manufacturers to export their products overseas. Yet, the Senate is considering voting to confirm Scott Garrett, who as a congressman voted a dozen times to shut the Ex-Im Bank down, to lead it.
If the Senate confirms Garrett, it will hurt small business owners like Jason Speer, president of Quality Float Works in Schaumburg, Illinois. On Wednesday, Speer wrote an open letter in Crain’s Chicago Business.com, explaining why Garrett’s confirmation to lead the Ex-Im Bank would be so catastrophic for him, his business and millions of manufacturers:
We are a small business, currently employ a staff of 14, and we are definitely exporting. Our major regional export areas include the Middle East, Singapore, India, Canada, Mexico, Australia and a number of countries throughout Europe…
We have been working on a $3.6 million deal with a customer in the Middle East for the past two years. These orders will call for us to add at least a 30 percent increase in our workforce—as an ongoing order, these would be permanent, high-paying jobs. From shipping to assembly, we need people from entry-level workers and material handlers to welders to get the job done—a good problem to have. Right now, only one obstacle stands in the way—we need a working capital guarantee from the Ex-Im Bank to finance the raw materials needed to complete the order.
As a congressman, Scott Garrett voted against reauthorization of the bank. He was in favor of shelving the whole program, which he could do again if confirmed as its new leader.
Millions of manufacturing workers rely on the Ex-Im Bank to reach the 95 percent of the world’s customers who live outside of the United States. For every $1 spent in manufacturing, another $1.81 is added to the economy. That is the highest multiplier effect of any economic sector.
We need an Ex-Im leader who will allow it to function and serve its purpose. I join the voices of employers from across the country—large and small—asking Congress to block Garrett’s nomination.
The National Association of Manufacturers is fighting for Jason Speer and so many other smaller-sized manufacturers like him to stop Garrett’s nomination to the Ex-Im Bank. You can join our fight here and tell your senators that Garrett would be a terrible trade deal for manufacturing workers.