Cantwell: Renewal of Export-Import Bank Is a Win for American Jobs and Economy as Bipartisan Support Defeats Political Extremists

Washington, D.C. – Today, Senator Maria Cantwell applauded the passage of a four-year reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank. The export credit agency lapsed on June 30, 2015 that resulted in a significant loss of jobs and business opportunities for U.S. companies exporting products and services globally, despite widespread congressional support.

“Finally, common sense prevailed over extreme partisan politics in favor of American businesses and workers.  Reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank means companies like Columbia Machine in Vancouver can continue shipping machinery around the globe. And SCAFCO in Spokane can keep exporting grain storage systems and other products.  And Manhasset Specialty Company in Yakima can keep sending their world class music stands to overseas markets. These small businesses are American success stories that help drive our economy and fuel job growth. With passage of Ex-Im reauthorization, businesses across Washington state and the nation will once again have this critical export credit agency,” said Senator Cantwell.

Cantwell has been a strong proponent of the Export-Import Bank and fought to have it reauthorized to ensure American companies can compete on a level playing field with global competitors. Over the past six years, she has co-sponsored bipartisan legislation to renew the Export-Import Bank. In May of 2015, Cantwell led the fight in the Senate to secure an agreement from the White House and Senate leaders to hold a vote to reauthorize Ex-Im.   Following a three-day deliberation an agreement was reached to bring the agency to a vote, which resulted in an overwhelming majority of support for the agency.

The Senator believes we must address the board vacancies.  She will push for the U.S. Senate to confirm Patricia M. Loui-Schmicker to be a member of the Board of Directors of Export-Import Bank  and for the remaining two Board members to be appointed and confirmed as soon as possible.

Approximately 90% of Ex-Im’s transactions – most involving small business – can move forward because the bank has been reauthorized. Collectively, these deals are worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Key Ex-Im facts

  • Ex-Im Bank is self-supported through interest payments and fees, turning a profit for taxpayers. In 2014, Ex-Im sent $675 million back to the U.S. Treasury as surplus for American taxpayers.
  • In fiscal year 2014, Ex-Im supported 164,000 U.S. jobs, $27.5 billion in exports and 3,340 small businesses.
  • Since fiscal year 2007, Ex-Im  has supported 1.3 million jobs and $233 billion in exports, including 234 exporters and 154 small businesses in Washington state.
  • There are 85 credit agencies around the world in developed country. Without Ex-Im, small businesses will lose out to their overseas competitors, many of which are backed by export credit agencies 18 times the size of the U.S. Ex-Im Bank. 

Key reforms of the bill are:

  • Puts greater focus on small businesses by increasing the required lending to small businesses from 20% to 25%;
  • Increases oversight of bank practices by creating a Chief Risk Officer and a Risk Management Committee to oversee the Bank's operations; requiring the Inspector General to audit the Bank’s risk management procedures regularly; and creating a non-political Chief Ethics Officer to oversee ethics practices of Bank employees;
  • Reduces risk to taxpayers by requiring higher loan loss reserves.