In May, the U.S. Senate voted to confirm President Donald Trump’s nominees to the Export-Import Bank board. The board now has a quorum for the first time in four years, allowing it once again to consider deals larger than $10 million. Manufacturers’ attention now turns to securing congressional reauthorization of the Ex-Im Bank.
NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons explains what’s at stake.
The NAM is leading the fight for Ex-Im Bank reauthorization. Start with the basics. What does that mean?
Later this year, Congress will have to vote on whether to keep the Ex-Im Bank open and authorize it to continue helping manufacturers in the United States compete for deals around the world.
Why does the Ex-Im Bank matter so much to manufacturers?
It’s a vital tool to support manufacturing jobs in the United States. The Ex-Im Bank has supported 2.5 million jobs since 2000. Typically, more than 90 percent of the Ex-Im Bank’s transactions directly support small businesses.
And here’s something that’s really impressive — the Ex-Im Bank has generated $9.6 billion for taxpayers since 1992. It’s a government agency that makes money!
Other countries are running nearly 100 other export credit agencies. So, if we don’t have the Ex-Im Bank, we are at a big disadvantage.
You mention “export credit agencies.” You mean other countries have their own versions of the Ex-Im Bank?
Exactly. And they use those agencies to lure manufacturers to their countries, support their own manufacturers and steal manufacturing jobs away from the United States. That’s not going to change. So, we can “disarm” ourselves here in the United States and let other countries like China have the advantage. Or we can support the Ex-Im Bank.
So this all comes back to China?
Definitely. It helps level the playing field for manufacturers in the United States to compete with China, as well as other countries.
Two of China’s export credit agencies provided $45 billion in medium- and long-term investment support for projects around the world, more than the rest of the world combined. That’s what we have to compete against.
What can manufacturing workers or manufacturing supporters do to make a difference?
Contact your senators and representatives. Tell them to support the Ex-Im Bank and reauthorize it. Let them know that supporting the Ex-Im Bank is supporting American manufacturing workers.