Michigan Company Could Cut Staff By Half If Ex-Im Not Extended

Energy International Corp – Canton, Mich.

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Energy International Corp. is a Canton, Mich.-based company that provides electrical equipment and systems to the transportation, manufacturing and aerospace industries.

Its founder and chief executive officer, Dr. Ned Fawaz, said the company ships its products mostly to the Middle East and Africa. While Energy International used to rely on private banks for financing, about 20 years ago it had to start using the U.S. Export-Import Bank’s loan guarantee program.

And since the Ex-Im Bank was only reauthorized through June 30, 2015, Dr. Fawaz fears what will happen if some U.S. lawmakers get their way and Ex-Im closes.

“We cannot compete worldwide without the Ex-Im Bank,” he said, adding that many small companies like his use the Bank but don’t have a voice out in Washington to get their message out to their Congress members.

Energy International competes against companies in Europe that have support from their own governments, such as competitors in England, France, and Germany. Foreign competitors often get much more support from their own foreign credit agencies than the Ex-Im Bank provides for U.S. companies.

“At a time when we’re looking to employ through exports, it’s a shame that Congress wants to shut down the Export-Import https://exportersforexim.org/files/2014/10/bank that works to increase jobs,” he said.

Without the Ex-Im Bank, Dr. Fawaz would have to downsize his operations by about half, something he would very much like to avoid.

In all this time of doing business, the Ex-Im Bank has been a reliable tool to help get Energy International’s products to overseas customers. However, the current uncertainty over the future of the Bank has rattled the security Dr. Fawaz has come to depend upon. “We are very much concerned. We are looking for different ways to finance receivables,” he said. “It’s a wrong thing to not allow Ex-Im to continue.”

The nine-month extension has given Dr. Fawaz a breather to look for a viable alternative to the Ex-Im Bank, but so far, his search has come up empty.