Cantwell Applauds Confirmation of Bank Nominees, Calls for Long-Term Reauthorization

Confirmations return Ex-Im to fully operational status after 1,418 days; Cantwell: Don’t put U.S. companies at a disadvantage in the global market

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee, applauded today’s confirmation of three nominees to the U.S. Export-Import Bank Board of Directors and called on her colleagues in Congress to move forward with a long-term reauthorization of the Bank before it expires in September. 

“Confirming these nominees ensures the Export-Import Bank is once again fully operational. It is critical for jobs and for our economy, not just in my home state of Washington, but throughout the United States,” said Cantwell. “With its authorization set to expire in September, we need to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank so it can continue to provide new financing that supports American jobs and American exports.” 

The confirmation of the three nominees returns a quorum to the Ex-Im Board of Directors for the first time in more than three years. For more than 1,400 days, the lack of a quorum has prevented the Bank from approving financing for deals over $10 million, leaving nearly $40 billion worth of deals stuck in limbo. 

As one of the most trade-dependent states in the nation, the Export-Import Bank is particularly vital to Washington state’s economy. In fiscal year 2014, the last year the Bank was fully operational, the Export-Import Bank supported nearly 39,000 jobs in Washington and more than 200,000 jobs in the United States. In fiscal year 2018, without a quorum, the Bank only supported 650 jobs in Washington and only 33,000 jobs nationwide – a decrease of nearly 98% and 85%, respectively. 

In her remarks on the Senate floor yesterday, Cantwell highlighted the impact this backlog has had on businesses throughout Washington state and the rest of the country: 

“There are more than 100 other export credit agencies worldwide helping foreign companies reach new markets. But without the Export-Import Bank, American companies are forced to sit on the sidelines and watch as other countries fill that void,” Cantwell said in urging the confirmation of the nominees. “What does that mean? It means that if other countries continue to use credit support financing as a tool to help products reach markets and the United States doesn’t, we will have an unfair disadvantage.” 

Here is an interactive map of companies throughout Washington state that have used the Ex-Im Bank to send their products around the globe.