Senator Coons Urges Colleagues To Reauthorize Ex-Im Bank
U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) on Wednesday spoke on the Senate floor about the need to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank that has helped Delaware and American businesses sell their goods around the world and compete in the global economy for over 80 years.
Excerpts from Senator Coons’ speech:
“The Bank has helped to ensure that American companies and their workers can compete anywhere in the world – and at no cost to the American taxpayer.”
“The Export-Import Bank isn’t doing something the private sector should be doing – it’s picking up where the market leaves off and in doing so, helps to level the global playing field on which American companies compete.”
“The bottom line is that American jobs are at stake in this debate, and if we fail to keep the doors open to the Export-Import https://exportersforexim.org/files/2015/06/bank, we’d fail a lot of american workers. every year, ex-im supports hundreds of thousands of jobs in this country, and shuttering it would put them at risk.”
“The Export-Import Bank is central to our competitiveness and our continued strength at home and abroad.”
Senator Coons’ full remarks below:
“I’ve come to the floor today following on the speech just delivered by Senator Boxer. She highlighted her concern about a manufactured crisis, about the impending expiration of the Highway bill, which must be reauthorized by July 31. I come to speak to another manufactured crisis. We have to reauthorize the Export-Import bank by June 30 or face the loss of its support for vital jobs in our economy that will happen with its expiration.
“I’m a big advocate for manufacturing here in the Senate and in my home state of Delaware, but I’m not a big fan of manufactured crises. And both of these are unneeded, self-inflicted wounds that are going to create further drag on our economic recovery. I think we can and should find ways to work together across the aisle to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank.
“For more than 80 years, the Export-Import Bank – or commonly known as Ex-Im – has served as a vital tool to help American companies sell their goods around the world by making loan guarantees, providing risk insurance and other financial products to American firms at market prices. The Bank has helped to ensure that American companies and their workers can compete anywhere in the world – and at no cost to the American taxpayer.
“I’ll say that again – at no cost to the taxpayer. The bank not only pays for itself, it actually often runs a surplus. Last year alone it returned nearly $700 million to the U.S. Treasury.
“Today, the Ex-Im Bank helps American businesses sell nearly $30 billion dollars in goods every single year and supports more than 150,000 American jobs.
“The Bank is a government agency, however, and even though it costs taxpayers nothing and has an undeniable positive impact on our economy and on job creation, it remains unclear if this Congress will be able to come together to reauthorize it by June 30th and keep it running.
“Unfortunately, some of my colleagues would like to close the Bank and are using arguments I think are unfounded and misguided to do so.
“First, I’ve heard that the Ex-Im Bank is somehow a government giveaway to large, politically connected corporations; but the truth is that the Bank helps companies of many different sizes, large and small.
“In my home state of Delaware, for instance, Ex-Im Bank helped a company I know well, Voigt and Schweitzer. A hot-dip zinc galvanizing company. It’s helped them to sell their products abroad. Voigt and Schweitzer has a few facilities around the United States in addition to its location in New Castle, Delaware, but at its Delaware station, it provides galvanizing services for a range of steel products for export.
“V&S isn’t a huge corporation. It has just a few dozen employees in Delaware. It is because of Ex-Im’s support that it’s able to compete with other companies around the globe. In fact, Ex-Im’s support helped the firm’s Delaware location earn the business to galvanize literally hundreds of bridges that were manufactured in Pennsylvania and are being exported and sold to Africa. Business that would have likely gone to competitors overseas without Ex-Im’s help.
“Now, Ex-Im does also help large companies export their goods to countries around the world, but that support also benefits small- and medium-sized businesses. For example, Boeing often receives significant support from the Ex-Im Bank, which helps it compete with international airplane manufacturers like Airbus, and I’ve heard Senators criticize this support. But the reality is it isn’t just Boeing that benefits. This is an important point about how modern manufacturing in the integration of a supply chain works.
“When Boeing manufactures a finished airplane, it doesn’t make all of that plane’s parts from its own factories and its own workforce. It, in fact, buys the vast majority of the component parts from much smaller manufacturers spread throughout the United States. From the brakes on the landing gear to the in-flight entertainment system, other companies make those parts and sell them to the Boeing finished product.
“So when the Export-Import Bank helps Boeing export a 747, it helps sustain tens of thousands of American workers at other, smaller companies.
“I’ve seen this myself in Delaware. Although Boeing directly employs in Delaware just 16 people, the company supports 1,300 jobs with 52 different Delaware companies. I’ll give you one example — a smallish company, Polymer Technologies, which manufactures and sells thermal and acoustic insulation to Boeing for inclusion in their planes, which are then exported through the help of Ex-Im.
“So when Ex-Im’s opponents in this Chamber argue that this is all about a few big companies, this just isn’t true. It also is vital to sustaining and supporting smaller manufactures who are vital to our community.
“The next misplaced argument I’ve heard is that government shouldn’t be supporting private companies, period. It should not be, as it were, picking winners and losers. But even to the support of the free market, the point of government is to step in where the private market fails to do so, and that’s exactly what Ex-Im does. When the Bank makes a loan to a business, it isn’t replacing capital that would otherwise come from a private bank. It supplements private capital or makes a private bank more inclined to put at risk its own capital through a provision of political risk insurance, and much of the time, Ex-Im serves as a lender of last resort and provides a loan where a private bank can’t or won’t.
“So the Export-Import https://exportersforexim.org/files/2015/06/bank isn’t doing something the private sector should be doing – it’s picking up where the market leaves off and in doing so, helps to level the global playing field on which american companies compete. the reality is every single one of our trading partners provides the same type of support for their exports as the ex-im bank does for ours. so they are picking winners; they are picking American winners on the global playing field. For example, as Ex-Im’s Chairman, Fred Hochberg, has written, “Ex-Im has given $590 billion in loans, in guarantees, and insurance over its entire history, but Chinese institutions, Chinese export financing institutions have provided an estimated $670 billion in just the past two years.”
“In other words, Mr. President, China has done more in just two years to support the financing of their exporters than our Export-Import Bank has done in its entire 80-year history and at no cost to the taxpayer.
“The bottom line is that American jobs are at stake in this debate, and if we fail to keep the doors open to the Export-Import Bank, we’d fail a lot of American workers. Every year Ex-Im supports hundreds of thousands of jobs in this country, and shuttering it would put them at risk.
“In fact, as the Wall Street Journal reported just this morning, American companies worry that competition is, quote “so cutthroat,” that they’d “be forced to move manufacturing overseas” and ship American manufacturing jobs out of the United States if the Ex-Im Bank does not remain open.
“At a time when our economy is gaining steam and Americans are going back to work – at a clip of 280,000 new jobs announced just last month – we need to continue to help American companies compete in markets around the world. The Ex-Im Bank is central to our competitiveness and our continued strength at home and abroad.
“It is critical that we act together to reauthorize it before the end of June, so I urge my colleagues to join this effort to help support American jobs, American manufacturing, and the American middle class.”