Local businesses relieved after Ex-Im Bank reauthorization

By:  Aaron Hilf
Source: KNDO

Several businesses in the Yakima Valley and Columbia Basin are breathing a little easier now that Congress has re-authorized the Export-Import Bank.

The move is an important step for 3,600 businesses in the U.S. that depend on the Ex-Im Bank.

Last month, Senator Maria Cantwell was in Yakima, touring Manhasset Specialties, a company that uses the bank to insure the export of their product to over 40 markets around the world.

Because the bank makes sure Manhasset gets paid when they export, they've been able to grow their overseas business from 14% to 30% in just five years.

Manhasset GM, Barry Heid said the reauthorization means they can continue to grow and sell around the world.

"It allows us to go places and do things that we'd otherwise be a little bit at least apprehensive to do. We're not costing the taxpayers something, we're paying for the program, but it does take authorization and I'm glad that they did give it," said Heid.

Statewide, the bank has helped support about $64 billion in sales since 2007, with $15 million coming directly from Yakima County.

Now the legislation will head to President Obama's desk, where he's expected to sign it.

The reauthorization will extend the charter until 2014 and increase its lending ability to $140 billion.