Vancouver CEO Joins Cantwell, Heck at White House Roundtable on Increasing Exports

Columbia Machine’s Rick Goode invited to share best practices and ideas to increase exports

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The chief executive of a Southwest Washington manufacturer joined U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) today at a White House roundtable on best practices for American companies looking to grow their business by exporting overseas.

Rick Goode, CEO of Columbia Machine in Vancouver, was invited by Cantwell to attend the roundtable hosted by U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and Jeffrey Zients, director of the National Economic Council.  U.S. Rep. Denny Heck (D-WA-10) also attended.

“The Export-Import Bank is a critical tool to support jobs in Vancouver by increasing our international exports. We support reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank to help Columbia Machine and other companies keep equal footing with international competitors in the global marketplace.” Goode said. “On behalf of Columbia Machine’s 500 employees, it is an honor to be invited to the White House to share our company’s story and offer our input on ways to keep manufacturing strong in Washington state and around the country.”

Goode spoke with top administration officials about how his company has expanded sales overseas by using services offered by the Export-Import Bank and the importance of transportation infrastructure to manufacturers.

“Columbia Machine is a great American manufacturing success story,” Cantwell said. “They have proven that quality products and a savvy export strategy creates jobs in Clark County. I’m glad that Rick had the opportunity to share his success story with the Secretary of Commerce. And I will continue to fight to ensure that exporters like Columbia Machine have access to the Export-Import Bank to help sell American-made goods and create American jobs.”

The Export-Import Bank is the nation’s official export credit agency and a tool that helps companies in Washington state and nationwide sell products overseas and create jobs. Unless Congress reauthorizes the Export-Import Bank’s charter by Sept. 30, the bank will be forced to stop its assistance to U.S. exporters – threatening future export deals for Columbia Machine and more than 180 other exporters in Washington state.

In 2013, the Ex-Im Bank supported $37 billion in export sales and 205,000 jobs, of which 85,000 are in Washington state.

“When I talk to companies like veteran-owned STAC, Inc. in Sumner, Wash., they tell me how their business thrives on their ability to export, and how they can hire more people and expand directly due to their export business,” said Rep. Heck, who also attended Tuesday’s roundtable. “The Export-Import Bank was a tool in their arsenal that allowed them to succeed in the competitive global marketplace.

“Senator Cantwell and I discussed with Secretary Pritzker how infrastructure funding for important projects, especially State Route 167, remains critical to an efficient export operation. We can’t afford to ignore these necessary infrastructure upgrades that support our export sector and the many jobs it creates.”

Cantwell visited Columbia Machine’s Vancouver factory in June during a series of visits to Washington businesses that use the Export-Import Bank. Columbia Machine designs and manufactures equipment used in concrete production and automated packaging, and exports to more than 100 countries. It is a third-generation family-owned company. The company employs about 500 workers, with 400 based at the Vancouver manufacturing site – making it one of the largest private employers in Clark County. The Export-Import Bank has helped Columbia Machine support $1.06 million in export sales.