Friday, October 23, 2015

Billy Long: Congress must reauthorize Export-Import Bank

(From Seventh District Congressman Billy Long)

Earlier this month, I joined a large group of my House colleagues in signing a discharge petition to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank of the United States – more commonly known as “the Ex-Im Bank” – through FY 2019. Unfortunately, after more than 80 years of supporting American jobs and boosting domestic exports, the Ex-Im Bank expired this past July as Congress failed to pass its reauthorization.

Since the 1930’s, Ex-Im has provided insurance and loan guarantees to foreign buyers of American products and protects domestic producers of exported products against defaulters. It’s been a critical part of our country’s history – making the Pan American Highway a reality, helping to keep airlines flying after September 11th, and weathering the 2008 financial crisis while many other banks were unable to.

Ex-Im ensures fair fees and interest are paid to domestic producers for their products. In FY 2014 alone – the last full year Ex-Im was authorized – the bank generated a $675 Million profit without expending a single tax dollar. Over the past two decades, the bank has helped reduce federal debt with a surplus of nearly $7 billion dollars returned to the U.S. Treasury – proving Ex-Im is a valuable asset against deficit spending in Washington.

In the global market, the absence of the Ex-Im Bank puts us at a major disadvantage. Currently, there are about 40 countries that have an equivalent of Ex-Im to protect their own economies. Many of these banks bar foreign companies who wish to gain their country’s available contracts from bidding on contracts unless their country has a national export credit agency – like Ex-Im. Already, General Electric has announced that it will move 500 jobs to France, Hungary, and China so that they can continue bidding on foreign contracts as they would have done here in the U.S.

Contrary to popular belief, private-sector lenders are Ex-Im’s partners – not its competitors. The bank fills export financing gaps when the private sector is unwilling to do so in order to enhance the free-market. Small and medium sized exporters are the primary users of Ex-Im. When larger companies use the bank to finance export sales, their employees and small business suppliers are the primary beneficiaries of profit. Overall, in FY 2014, nearly 90% of Ex-Im Bank transactions directly supported small businesses while 98% involved independent commercial financial institutions.

In The Ozarks, every kind of business from stainless steel manufacturers to limousine builders depend on Ex-Im. The bank accounted for nearly $1.5 Billion in export sales and supported more than 9,000 jobs across 125 companies last Fiscal Year in our state. Additionally, the Ex-Im bank has supported as many as 1.3 Million private sector jobs across America since 2009.

As a conservative, I realize that no federal entity or organization is free from needing reforms. But no matter which reforms must be made, the Ex-Im bank still fulfills an undeniable major economic purpose that boosts American businesses and plays an important role in our global economic standing. It’s critical that Congress votes on the bank’s reauthorization immediately before more jobs move overseas, American companies lose contracts with foreign investors, and our economy suffers as a whole.


Anonymous said...

You're no real conservative if you support Ex-Im. Just supporting cronyism. Bought and paid for by the Chamber of Commerce.

Anonymous said...

Essential for US companies to compete globally on a level playing field. This should have (and does) bi-partisan support. I have never heard a convincing case against it including from the freedom caucus who somehow managed to kill it. If you are opposed to the Ex-Im Bank you probably don't understand what it does.

Anonymous said...

>> If you are opposed to the Ex-Im Bank you probably don't understand what it does.<<

I remain unconvinced that Billy Long understands what the Ex-Im Bank does. Does he understand what his donors want? I bet he pays close attention when his bread is getting buttered and the prime rib is being sliced.

Contarst this press release with his imported boxes of nails discussion, I'm a little suspicious it could have been written by some Ex-Im lobbyist or customer rather than ye olde auctioner.

Anonymous said...

I agree. Billy Long is bought and sold by lobbyists and I doubt he has written any of his PRs. That being said just because something is lobbied for doesn't inherently make it bad.

The Ex-Im Bank is just a clearinghouse for international payments/credit/risk. It isn't a hand out for businesses big or small.

Opposing it to spite Billy Long convincing reason...

-- 8:47

Anonymous said...

>>Opposing it to spite Billy Long convincing reason...<<

Not opposing Ex-Im Bank.

Just contarsting two Billy Long statements and pointing out that the words are put in his mouth. I doubt he's as proud of that imported boxes of nails discussion (maybe he's lernt more about international trade and tariffs by now) as he is of his latest position. I suppose he actually could have had some degree of interest in where nails come from. If he'd ever tried to use some of those low grade imported nails he might really be a fan of honest import nail labeling. The thought of attending a buffet with Billy on a five year old deck built with "galvanized" chinese nails is enough to put the fear of gravity into me.

Anonymous said...

Ex-Im subsidizes the risk and terms of payments for a limited number of favored companies (uh, Boeing). Private sector banking could provide the same at an arms length price instead of taxpayers funding that risk.
Billy has just spent too much time drinking the kool aid in Washington. Fed up?

Anonymous said...

No bank would or even could assume that type of role because they don't have the leverage to compel a foreign country or business to pay. That type of risk isn't even quantifiable in terms of commercial lending which is why NO bank in the world does this and every industrialized nation in the world has an equivalent of the Ex-Im Bank.

No doubt it is fun to hate on big businesses like Boeing, but these big businesses are the catalyst to our economic growth.

Opposing it to spite Boeing is not a convincing reason. Unless you are French (viva la Airbus).