(March 6, 2012) The California Chamber of Commerce is urging Congress to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im) to prevent the loss of U.S. jobs to foreign competitors.
In the five years since Congress last reauthorized the bank’s operations, Ex-Im has refunded more than $3.4 billion to the U.S. Treasury above all costs and loss reserves, including $700 million for the 2011 fiscal year alone.
Since the last reauthorization, the bank has helped nearly 1,000 businesses from California, the vast majority being small businesses.
The Ex-Im Bank’s temporary authorization is due to expire on May 31. Failure to reauthorize the bank’s operations would seriously disadvantage U.S. companies, both small and large, in foreign markets, potentially resulting in the loss of thousands of U.S. jobs.
The four-year reauthorization for the Ex-Im Bank also should increase its lending cap sufficiently, the CalChamber said in its letter to congressional representatives.
As the official credit agency of the United States, Ex-Im Bank’s mission is to assist in financing the export of U.S. goods and services to international markets.
Small Business Help
Ex-Im Bank reports that small businesses account for 87% of its transactions. The small business transaction figures are in addition to the tens of thousands of small and medium-sized businesses that supply goods and services to large exporters.
In the 2011 fiscal year, the Ex-Im Bank provided more than $6 billion in financing and insurance for U.S. small businesses, an increase of nearly 90% since the 2008 fiscal year.
The bank has set a goal of providing $9 billion each year in small-business export financing and adding 5,000 new small businesses to its portfolio by 2015.
Since its creation in 1934, Ex-Im Bank has supported more than $456 billion of U.S. exports, primarily to developing markets worldwide.
The CalChamber, in keeping with long-standing policy, enthusiastically supports free trade worldwide, expansion of international trade and investment, fair and equitable market access for California products abroad, and elimination of disincentives that impede the international competitiveness of California business.
The vote on reauthorizing the Ex-Im Bank is expected within the next few weeks. The CalChamber is urging members to contact their congressional representatives to ask them to approve reauthorizing the Ex-Im Bank.
A sample letter is available at www.calchambervotes.com.
Staff Contact: Susanne Stirling