|Boeing airplanes, produced by IAM members, are often sold to foreign airlines with the help of financing from the U.S. Export-Import Bank.|
The Export-Import Bank has been a popular punching bag for the Tea Party over the last few years, and due to their pressure on more moderate Republicans, the bank’s doors could close within the next few months if Congress doesn’t reauthorize its funding by June 30.
The bank has been under siege even though it supports hundreds of thousands of U.S. manufacturing jobs by helping finance foreign deals for American-made products.
“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,” said IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger. “This is financing that they would have preferred to obtain from the Ex-Im Bank.”
Congressional Republicans are poised to deal a sharp blow to their traditional allies in the business community by allowing the federal the Ex-Im Bank’s charter to expire at the end of the month.
Supporters in labor, at the Chamber of Commerce and other groups disagree. The agency, which doesn’t rely on taxpayer funds, helps U.S. businesses, large and small, remain competitive. Foreign rivals like China have generous export credit agencies helping their industries. If the bank loses its funding authority, American exporters will face a serious competitive disadvantage and U.S. workers will suffer the loss of more jobs.