Sen. Michael Bennet: Reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank
As globalization transforms our economy, many Colorado businesses, most of them small, are finding success by exporting their Made-in-America products abroad. One resource playing a key role in helping these companies ship American goods across the world is the Export-Import Bank. Since 2007, more than 100 businesses in our state, the majority of which are small or minority owned, have used the Ex-Im Bank to facilitate the export of $815 million in goods to global markets. Nationwide, the Ex-Im Bank supported $27.4 billion in U.S exports and supported 164,000 jobs. Additionally, 90 percent of its financing went to small businesses.
For more than 80 years, the Ex-Im Bank has served as the nation’s official export credit agency, working with companies on loans, loan guarantees, and other financing opportunities to compete for global sales. Unlike some federal programs plagued by inefficiency or waste, the Ex-Im Bank is a self-sustaining, independent agency. It has consistently returned money to the federal treasury — more than $7 billion since 1992.
Unfortunately, without congressional action, the Ex-Im Bank will shut down at the end of this month. Our office has worked with businesses around the state to urge Congressional leadership to reauthorize the bank’s authority, which would keep it open. In a letter to leaders in Congress, regional business groups like the Colorado Business Roundtable, the Colorado Space Coalition, and the Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry as well as agriculture groups like the Colorado Farm Bureau and the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union joined us in expressing support to keep the bank working with businesses in our state.
Ex-Im Bank President Fred Hochberg also visited the state recently to meet with business leaders about the importance of reauthorizing the bank. He visited Droplet Measurement Technologies, the Export Import Bank 2015 Small Business Exporter of the Year, which exported nearly $12 million in American made goods since 2007. Coolerado, a company we visited in 2012 that designs and manufactures award-winning energy-efficient air conditioners, received resources from the Ex-Im Bank to export more than $1.2 million in goods to 25 countries. And through our “Beyond Colorado” workshop series, we met with countless businesses across the state that expressed interest in working with the Ex-Im Bank to expand their operations and export their goods overseas.
The Ex-Im Bank plays an important role in leveling the playing field for U.S. goods in global markets. It supports Colorado businesses and provides them with opportunities to expand their reach abroad, sell “Made in America” products around the world, and create new jobs at home. Here in Colorado, Ex-Im Bank customers represent many of our key industries including aerospace, renewable energy, oil and gas, and manufacturing.
Without the bank, many businesses in these industries will lose access to a key resource. And at a time when the world economy is becoming increasingly competitive we should be trying to expand opportunities to reach global markets, not take away a proven, effective tool. We can all agree there is no shortage of agencies in Washington that could be cut-back, overhauled, or completely closed down. But only in Washington would they choose to dismantle an agency with a proven track record of success that actually returns money to the taxpayers.
Reauthorizing the Bank’s charter is a commonsense decision and one that is important to the economy of the state and the country. We have committed to Colorado businesses that we will support the Export-Import Bank, and we will continue fighting for it in Congress.
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