Obama Signs Cantwell-Championed Export-Import Bank Reauthorization into Law

Cantwell: ‘This is one of the most important jobs bills for Washington state that the President has signed this year’

SEATTLE, WA – Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) hailed the enactment of legislation reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank until 2014. For months, Cantwell worked for Congress to reauthorize the bank, which supports 83,000 jobs in Washington state, including sponsoring an amendment to extend it in March. The legislation (HR 2072) passed the House on May 9th by a 330 to 93 vote, and it passed the Senate on May 15th by a 78 to 20 vote. Today, President Obama signed it into law.

“This is one of the most important jobs bills for Washington state that the President has signed this year,” Cantwell said. “The Export-Import Bank is a crucial tool for job creation and to support American manufacturing. Washington businesses use the Export-Import Bank to export everything from grain silos to music stands to airplanes into hundreds of countries around the world. Today’s signing is good news for the 83,000 Washington jobs that depend on the Export-Import Bank.”

As of earlier this month, the Export-Import Bank has supported $66 billion in sales from 172 Washington state exporters over the past five years. Of these 172 exporters, 121 were small businesses. Across the nation, the bank’s financing for smaller exporters has risen more than 70 percent the last three years. More than 85 percent of its transactions are with small businesses.

Cantwell has led the charge on the bank’s reauthorization and been among its most vocal supporters. Earlier this month, she took to the Senate floor to urge her colleagues to swiftly pass legislation to reauthorize the bank. Watch her remarks here.

In early April, Cantwell joined local businesses in Spokane, Yakima, Moses Lake, and Everett to call for Congress to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank. In March, Cantwell introduced a bipartisan amendment to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank. In February, Cantwell joined Senate Small Business Committee members in urging Senate leadership to move forward on reauthorizing the bank.

If private banks are unwilling or unable, the Export-Import Bank finances or insures the purchase of U.S. goods by foreign customers. The bank’s activities come at no cost to the U.S. taxpayer, because the bank supports itself. The U.S. Treasury has made more than $3 billion off the bank’s activities since 2005.