Ex-Im Bank Reauthorization is Long-Awaited Victory for U.S. Workers


IAM Chief of Staff and Director of Trade and Globalization Owen Herrnstadt lauds a bipartisan bill reauthorizing the Ex-Im Bank during a news conference on Capitol Hill. Herrnstadt is flanked by Reps. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and Gwen Moore (D-WI), left, and Maxine Waters (D-CA), right.

U.S. workers can breathe a bit easier after a bipartisan bill to reauthorize the U.S. Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank passed both houses of Congress and was signed into law by President Obama. The independent federal credit agency issues loans to foreign buyers of U.S.-made exports, including aircraft built by IAM members.

WATCH: The Ex-Im Bank is Back in Business

The bank had been unable to issue new loans since July after right-wing members of Congress targeted it for extinction. An onslaught of reaction from IAM members and allies in the labor and business communities ratcheted up pressure to get the bank back on its feet.

“In a growing global economy, where other countries aggressively rely on their own export credit agencies – like Ex-Im – to capture sales, disabling Ex-Im and leaving U.S. workers out in the cold and out of a job simply makes no sense,” said IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger. “We congratulate Congressional leaders for their efforts to being some sanity to Capitol Hill.”

The Ex-Im Bank has sustained more than 1.3-million private sector U.S. jobs since 2009. It generated a $675 million surplus for American taxpayers in 2014 alone.

Owen Herrnstadt, the IAM’s chief of staff and trade and globalization director, spoke alongside lawmakers at a press conference lauding the bank’s reopening on Capitol Hill.

“Since Ex-Im was created in the 1930’s, its mission has been to lend financial support for the export of goods that create and maintain U.S. jobs,” said Herrnstadt. “Strong domestic content rules make it possible for Ex-Im to achieve its mission. Public policies, like content, set Ex-Im apart from lenders in the private sector.”