Last week, the Senate Finance Committee held an oversight hearing on U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that featured testimony from CBP Commissioner Gil Kerlikowske. In his testimony, Kerlikowske highlighted the agency’s “Trade Transformation” initiative to create efficiency at the border and leverage public–private partnership programs. For example, the CBP continues to deploy the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE), which will ultimately serve as the central portal where importers and exporters will electronically transmit the data required by the U.S. government to release cargo. Kerlikowske confirmed that the CBP is on track to deliver all core trade processing capabilities in ACE by December 31, 2016. He also highlighted the agency’s enforcement operations, citing enforcement of intellectual property rights and antidumping/countervailing duties as two of the CBP’s priority trade issues. Read More
For manufacturers in the United States, trade is a priority issue. Ninety-five percent of the world’s population lives outside the United States, and it is essential that America’s manufacturers have the necessary trading tools in place to reach these foreign customers.
To address the importance of trade to American manufacturers’ competitiveness, the NAM hosted a Shopfloor event on Capitol Hill on April 15 with featured speakers including leading manufacturing CEOs and policy experts as well as Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA), chairman of the Subcommittee on Trade at the House Ways and Means Committee. One of the top issues the panelists discussed was the importance of a fully functioning Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank and the need for the Senate to move forward on the pending Ex-Im Board of Director nominee. Read More
President Obama made a historic visit this week to Cuba—the first visit by a sitting U.S. president in nearly 90 years—on the heels of new announcements last week to further ease restrictions on exports and facilitate authorized travel to the island. In an address to the Cuban people, President Obama made clear that the goal of the trip was to “bury the last remnants of the Cold War in the Americas.” Across the three-day visit, President Obama engaged local entrepreneurs, visited the newly reopened U.S. Embassy and met with Cuban President Raul Castro to discuss a number of key issues impacting the path forward on normal trade relations between the two countries. At the start of the trip, Starwood Hotels & Resorts announced a new deal to develop and manage operations in Cuba, becoming the first U.S. hotel company presence on the island since the 1959 revolution. While the travel ban for U.S. tourism remains, the deal serves as another indicator of the significant changes in diplomatic relations over the past year.
The NAM released today a letter to commend Reps. Tom Emmer (R-MN) and Kathy Castor (D-FL) for their efforts to repeal the trade embargo on Cuba, the Cuba Trade Act of 2015 (H.R. 3238). The NAM is a strong advocate for a robust trade agenda to open markets abroad for manufacturers in the United States, and eliminating the trade embargo on Cuba will allow for increased economic activity between the two nations. A 2014 Peterson Institute study estimated that U.S. merchandise exports to Cuba could reach $4.3 billion annually. In recent years, merchandise exports to Cuba have been a fraction of that—generally ranging between $300 million and $500 million annually. Read More
The House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade held a hearing Tuesday on “Trade with Cuba: Growth and Opportunities.” The hearing comes ahead of President Obama’s historic visit to Cuba next week. The visit, a first for a sitting U.S. president in nearly 90 years, is a clear indication of the progress made since the administration announced in December 2014 its goal of normal trade relations with Cuba. Read More
Yesterday, President Obama signed into law a bill that included a multi-year reauthorization of the U.S. Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank, effectively re-opening the bank’s doors after a five-month lapse. As NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons put it, ““This is a victory for manufacturers of all sizes as well as for workers here in the United States. The Ex-Im Bank is critical to keeping America competitive in the global economy.” Read More
Earlier this week, the Engage Cuba coalition – of which the NAM is a partner – released with the Atlantic Council the results of a new poll that found a majority of Americans in four key “heartland” states support President Barack Obama’s decision to restore diplomatic ties with Cuba and are in favor of lifting all restrictions on travel to the island. Read More
The House of Representatives delivered a huge win for manufacturers and American jobs Tuesday night by passing a bill to reauthorize the U.S. Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank for close to five years. A strong coalition consisting of both Republican and Democrats passed the bill by a vote of 313-118, with a majority of Republicans joining nearly all Democrats in favor of passage. Read More
The global market for manufactured goods continues to grow, providing myriad opportunities for U.S. manufacturers to expand their product reach overseas. The U.S. Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank is a critical tool that allows manufacturers, like Florida-based NOVA Pressroom Products, a chance at developing a successful exporting business to Latin American countries. Read More
That’s not a “typo” in the blog title – Jenny Fulton is the owner and “Chief Pickle Officer” of North Carolina-based Miss Jenny’s Pickles. Fulton, like so many other small business owners and exporters throughout the United States, uses the U.S. Export-Import (Ex-Im) to insure her overseas pickle exports. Through using the Ex-Im’s credit insurance, Jenny’s Pickles has been able to carve out a niche in the international market, which is something the company would likely not have been able to do otherwise. Read More
Today the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) hosted a Shopfloor briefing for congressional staff about the need to reauthorize the U.S. Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank, a critical tool for U.S. exporters. The briefing comes after a late-night vote in the U.S. Senate on an amendment to reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank through FY2019, which was attached to a highway funding bill. Now that the Senate has passed an Ex-Im reauthorization with broad support, all eyes turn to the House of Representatives to do the same.
U.S. Representative Chris Collins (R-NY), who spent 36 years as a small business owner, gave remarks that emphasized the importance of the Ex-Im Bank to U.S. small businesses. Rep. Collins knows firsthand the value of exports to small businesses and their employees.
Despite bipartisan support in both the House and Senate for Ex-Im reauthorization, Congress allowed the Ex-Im Bank’s charter to lapse on June 30 for the first time in its history. As a result, companies like International Green Structures (IGS) are unable to move forward with new projects. IGS is a small manufacturer of environmentally sustainable materials used to make a variety of structures including affordable houses for low income populations in developing countries. David Kralik, a member of IGS’s finance team, said during today’s Shopfloor event that his company is in a “holding pattern” until the Bank is reauthorized because it needs Ex-Im Bank support for a contract in Nigeria. Learn more about IGS’s Ex-Im story by clicking here.
Trade policy experts also participating on today’s panel included Matthew Ekberg, Vice President of International Policy for the Bankers Association for Finance and Trade; Howard Schweitzer, Managing Partner at Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies; and Georgette P. Sierra, Vice President of Government Affairs at the Financial Services Roundtable. These panelists provided insight into the public-private partnership between private-sector lenders and the Ex-Im Bank, the growing role of foreign export credit agencies (ECAs) and the important role that the Ex-Im Bank plays in mitigating risk for exporters and lenders. If Congress fails to reauthorize the Bank before it begins the August recess, U.S. businesses and the jobs they create will continue to be at a competitive disadvantage.
Right now, more than 60 foreign export credit agencies ECAs across the globe help support their respective domestic industries. The nine largest ECAs of our allies and competitors–Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, South Korea and the United Kingdom–provide nearly half a trillion dollars in annual export support, putting manufacturers in the United States at a deep disadvantage in competing for sales overseas. As our foreign competitors continue to expand into new markets and grow jobs in their own economies, Congress has forced U.S. manufacturers to forfeit opportunities and sit on the sidelines.
The Ex-Im Bank is a critical export tool for U.S. manufacturers and helps businesses of all sizes compete in the global marketplace. Learn more about the impact the Ex-Im Bank has on manufacturers of all sizes by clicking here.