Rep. Fincher And Sen. Kirk: Reform The Ex-Im Bank And Bring It Back

As the U.S. House of Representatives prepares to take an important step towards passing the Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank reauthorization bill this week, the House and Senate co-sponsors of the legislation penned a letter in today’s Wall Street Journal regarding the important reforms in the bill and the need for Congress to help U.S. job creators by reopening the Bank.

Please see below or click here for the full text of the letter.



Wall Street Journal: Reform The Ex-Im Bank And Bring It Back

By: Senator Mark Kirk And Representative Stephen Fincher

Your editorial “Dawn of the Living Dead Bank” (Oct. 19) says that the Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank needs to be reformed. We agree.

We have led an effort in Congress to reauthorize and reform the bank—which last year supported $27.5 billion worth of U.S. exports and 164,000 jobs and returned $675 million to the U.S. Treasury—before more American jobs are lost to our global competitors.

You argue that Congress should lower the agency’s overall lending cap. We do that. The legislation also ensures the bank’s default rate stays below 2%.

You note the bank needs to strengthen risk management and transparency. We do that. Our bill creates a chief risk officer and chief ethics officer and requires the Inspector General to regularly audit the bank’s risk management procedures.

You urge Congress to ban “politicized preferences” for energy projects. We do that. Our bill prohibits the bank from discriminating against coal and other energy sources.

The Senate already voted 64-29 in favor of these reforms. When the House votes today, we’re confident the bill will pass.

Since Ex-Im’s charter lapsed, we’ve seen what happens when companies, particularly small businesses, are unable to receive export financing. For instance, Weldy-Lamont, an Illinois engineering company, has brought electricity to more than 1,000 villages in Africa. Without Ex-Im, it has been forced to put projects and jobs on hold.

Meanwhile, countries like China have doubled down on their export credit agency assistance. In the past two years, China has provided its exporters $670 billion in financing—more than Ex-Im has financed in the past eight decades.

We want more American-made products, not less. It’s time for Congress to reform and reinstate the Ex-Im Bank.

Sen. Mark Kirk (R., Ill.)

Rep. Stephen Fincher (R., Tenn.)