With only three weeks left before the Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank is scheduled to shut its doors, IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger is urging U.S. Senators to support a bipartisan bill to keep the lending agency running through 2019.
The bill, sponsored by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Mark Kirk (R-IL), would make increases in the bank’s lending cap contingent on congressional reporting requirements and maintaining a loss ratio of less than 2 percent.
“As the only federal institution that makes it possible for U.S. manufacturers and U.S. workers to compete fairly with our global competitors in Europe and Asia, the Ex-Im Bank provides vital support for the export of U.S. made aircraft, one of the last sectors in which the U.S. enjoys a positive balance of trade with the rest of the world,” wrote Buffenbarger in a letter to U.S. Senators.
The Ex-Im Bank has been under siege by Tea Party Republicans, even though it supports hundreds of thousands of U.S. manufacturing jobs by helping finance foreign deals for American-made products. The agency, which doesn’t rely on taxpayer funds and returned over $1 billion to the U.S. Treasury in 2013, will cease extending new loans on September 30 if Congress fails to act.
“If the Ex-Im Bank is prevented from supporting U.S. manufacturers, thousands of additional American jobs will be lost as U.S. companies ship more production work abroad where they can take advantage of the financing provided by other countries’ export credit agencies – financing that they would have preferred to obtain from the Ex-Im Bank,” wrote Buffenbarger.