What They’re Saying: Broad Coalition Builds Behind Cantwell Export Jobs Amendment

Business and Labor Groups Back Bipartisan Amendment to Extend Export-Import Bank

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A broad coalition of business and labor groups have announced their support of a bipartisan amendment to support trade and export jobs by reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank through 2015.

The amendment – introduced by U.S. SenatorsMaria Cantwell (D-WA), Lindsey Graham (R-SC),Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D-SD), and Banking Committee Ranking Member Richard Shelby (R-AL) – is scheduled for a vote on Tuesday afternoon.

The Cantwell-Graham-Johnson-Shelby amendment would:

  • Extend the bank’s charter until 2015.
  • Increase the bank's lending capacity from $100 billion to $140 billion to allow it to guarantee more loans to companies that buy U.S. exports.
  • Improve the bank’s transparency by requiring it to provide more notice and details to Congress, the public and customers before and after it approves transactions over $100 million. Exemptions exist for confidential and proprietary business information.

Groups supporting the amendment include: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the International Association of Machinists, the National Small Business Association, the National Association of Manufacturers, the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace, the Aerospace Industries Association, the Financial Services Roundtable, TechAmerica, the Coalition for Employment through Exports, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, The Business Roundtable and a bipartisan group of 22 governors.

In Washington state, groups include the Washington Council on International Trade and the Aerospace Machinists Industrial District Lodge 751.

“With Ex-Im’s temporary reauthorization set to expire on May 31, the failure to reauthorize its operations would seriously disadvantage U.S. companies—small and large—in foreign markets, potentially costing thousands of U.S. jobs. …Canada, for example, supports an export credit agency that has extended nearly three times as much export financing as Ex-Im, though its economy is one-tenth the size of that of the United States. China has three export credit agencies that last year provided $300 billion in export finance to its exporters — 10 times more than Ex-Im provided. With other countries’ export credit agencies providing an estimated $1 trillion in export finance— often on terms more generous than Ex-Im can provide— failure to approve this reauthorization legislation would put U.S. exporters at a sharper competitive disadvantage.” (March 15, 2012)                           

“While some falsely claim that the Ex-Im Bank is ‘corporate welfare,’ nothing could be further from the truth; 87 percent of Ex-Im Bank transactions are for small businesses. …While the U.S. trade deficit continues to swell, the IAM has seen firsthand the job generating benefits of the Ex-Im Bank’s export credit financing, which has helped the U.S. aerospace industry maintain a positive balance of trade with the rest of the world. …America cannot afford to unilaterally disarm in the face of such global competition. To do so would be an economic disaster for the U.S. The Cantwell, Johnson, Selby, Graham amendment wisely recognizes the world we compete in and deserves your full support.” (March 16, 2012)

“‘This amendment stands to greatly help thousands of small businesses across the country expand their exports, maintain their international customer bases, and create U.S. jobs,’ stated NSBA President and CEO Todd McCracken. ‘The impact Ex-Im Bank has on small-business exporters should not be underestimated.’ …The amendment offered by Sen. Cantwell is exactly the kind of compromise language NSBA has been urging for months. Small exporters face fierce competition globally from other firms with strong backing from their own Export Credit Agencies. America’s small-business exporters need a strong partner in Ex-Im Bank, and we urge the Senate to approve this amendment.” (March 15, 2012)

“The Ex-Im Bank plays a critical role in manufacturers’ ability to export to new markets and keep up with growing global competition. …It’s imperative that Congress reauthorize Ex-Im and increase the Bank’s lending limit for the sake of jobs and the competitiveness of manufacturers in the United States. Should Congress fail to act, it will give our competitors an advantage, harm job growth and create a large speed bump in our path to doubling exports. Our competition is providing hundreds of billions of dollars worth of export financing and is leaving us in the dust. We cannot afford to stand on the sidelines.” (March 15, 2012)

“SPEEA represents over 25,000 engineering and technical workers in aerospace in Washington, Kansas and four other states. The Export-Import Bank is a vital resource to our industry, allowing us to maximize U.S. exports of commercial aircraft while ensuring this public investment supports American workers. In FY 2009 alone, financial backing from the Ex-Im Bank supported the export of approximately 150 large commercial aircraft. We are committed to the long-term sustainability of domestic aerospace manufacturing and feel it imperative that Congress act now to extend and increase the lending authority of the Export-Import Bank. This issue deeply affects our members and other workers in manufacturing and service industries across the country.” (March 15, 2012)

“Without the passage of this amendment the bank runs the risk of losing its important ability to help American companies export. …In an era of increasing budget austerity, we need every contribution to deficit reduction that we can find. The shrinking U.S. federal budget makes it imperative that U.S. companies increase exports of their products. The Export-Import Bank makes possible many of those exports, leveling the playing field with foreign competitors while growing the economy and contributing to deficit reduction. It's a true win-win for our nation. We strongly urge passage of the Cantwell-Graham amendment.” (March 15, 2012)

“The world grows more competitive each day. And as more companies and countries fight for an advantage, EXIM Bank helps U.S. businesses, small and large, gain access to developing markets and allows American businesses and American workers to compete in the global marketplace. This opens new markets for the long-term. Companies that may not have been able to sell one product into a particular market can count on that being just the beginning. Establishing a presence in these growing markets will substantially impact America’s long-term economic growth.” (March 15, 2012)

“Trade is particularly important to the technology industry, resulting in $228 billion in exports from American tech companies. It is the largest export sector of the U.S.”

‘At a time of high unemployment, it is vital to sustain these sales and the many underlying jobs they support through enabling the Export-Import Bank to move forward on a stable economic footing and to modernize its systems to meet the challenges of helping U.S. businesses open new markets and compete globally,’ said Dan Varroney, TechAmerica’s acting President and CEO. (February 8, 2012)

“Transactions delayed or deferred due to a lack of Ex-Im financing will likely be lost to foreign competitors who are able to readily guarantee full financing from their export credit agencies (ECAs). Numerous prospective buyers of U.S. products have questioned the reliability of the Ex-Im Bank. U.S. credibility, export potential and jobs are at stake. …Ex-Im is a self-sustaining, profitable arm of the U.S. government, returning over $3.4 billion to the Treasury over the last four years. The CBO score for S. 1547 states that extending the authority of Ex-Im Bank through 2015 will bring the government an additional $900 million. Ex-Im Bank has always been a bi-partisan issue due to its positive impact on the economy and U.S. companies. For these reasons, CEE urges the Senate to support this critical jobs Amendment.” (March 16, 2012)

“Ex-Im Bank is particularly critical for Washington state businesses, where – in 2011 alone – Ex-Im Bank lent more than $7 billion to 74 companies – including 56 small businesses. ...WCIT’s members – farmers, manufacturers, retailers, service providers, non-profit organizations and individuals who support a strong trade policy that benefits Washington’s small, medium and large companies and creates jobs for Washington residents have made this issue of our top 2012 policy priorities. Without Ex-Im Bank reauthorization, our state’s exporters won’t be able to compete effectively in the global marketplace. We thank U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell for her leadership on this issue, and we urge Congress to act on this important amendment without further delay.” (March 14, 2012)

“The Ex-Im Bank plays a very important role in the sale of Boeing aircraft to foreign customers and creates thousands of jobs in Washington state. …Now, more than ever, we need the U.S. Ex-Im Bank to support manufacturing jobs here at home with loan guarantees for the export of products made by U.S. workers. …The IAM has seen first-hand how the Ex-Im Bank’s financing authority has grown U.S. exports and supported good-paying American jobs. Congress should immediately approve funding of the Ex-Im Bank and ensure that it will continue to play a vital role in the U.S. economy.” (March 19, 2012)

“As the official export credit agency of the United States, Ex-Im is a critical tool for U.S. exporters in our states and a money-maker for American taxpayers. …Ex-Im works for American companies and taxpayers – it is good business and good government. …Ex-Im’s temporary reauthorization will expire on May 31, and failure to reauthorize its operations at an internationally competitive level will seriously disadvantage U.S. companies – small and large – potentially resulting in the loss of thousands of jobs in our states. We strongly urge you to approve legislation before June 1, 2012 to reauthorize Ex-Im with a higher lending cap to support surging U.S. exports and American jobs. It is the right thing to do for our states, our economy and our nation.” (March 19, 2012)

“With approximately 90 percent of our member companies being small and medium-sized businesses, the Export-Import Bank is a vital source of export financing and insurance. …Failure to swiftly reauthorize the Bank will put U.S. manufacturers at a significant disadvantage compared to our global competitors, and potentially cost thousands of U.S. jobs. …At a time of great fiscal austerity, Congress must reauthorize the revenue-generating and private sector job-creating Ex-Im Bank.” (March 19, 2012)

“Failure by Congress to reauthorize Ex-Im soon on a longer-term basis with a sufficient increase in its lending cap would handicap the ability of U.S. exporters to compete for sales abroad and support the U.S. jobs that depend on those sales. Ex-Im’s positive contributions to the international competitiveness of American companies and workers and to the U.S. economy overall are well documented. According to a 2011 study by the Coalition for Employment through Exports, more than 33,0000 small and medium-sized suppliers benefit from export financing provided by Ex-Im.” (March 19, 2012)