President Obama: "The Export-Import Bank makes money for the U.S. government," says reauthorization "should be a no-brainer"
Today at a roundtable with American small businesses convened by the White House, President Barack Obama and Representative Denny Heck joined small businesses from around the country to call on Congress to vote immediately on reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank, which is crucial to the national and regional economy.
"Small businesses like veteran-owned STAC in my district are constantly telling me how their business thrives on their ability to export," Heck said. "Without the Export-Import Bank's ability to approve new transactions, thousands of small businesses can't hire more people and their export arm is squeezed. It is tantamount to unilateral economic disarmament."
"The fact that, for the first time since its inception, Congress failed to reauthorize this, is a shame," President Obama said. "This is what Representative Heck was alluding to. Every other advanced country on Earth has a program like this in order to promote their businesses when they're selling overseas. For us to be the only country that leaves these outstanding companies high and dry makes absolutely no sense."
Video of President Obama's remarks is online via Bloomberg Politics.
The Export-Import Bank is the nation's official export credit agency and a tool that helps companies in Washington state and nationwide sell products overseas and create jobs. Since the bank's authorization lapsed on June 30, 2015, the bank has been forced to stop its assistance to U.S. exporters -- threatening export deals for Manhasset Specialty Company and more than 100 other exporters in Washington state.
In 2014, the Ex-Im Bank supported $27.5 billion in export sales and 164,000 jobs, of which tens of thousands are in Washington state. Authorizations for small businesses were 90 percent of the total transactions of the Export-Import Bank in 2014.
"We have the votes in both chambers of Congress to get this done," Heck added. "I urge Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader McConnell to listen to the President, local leaders and America's small businesses, and simply allow a vote on legislation to renew the Export-Import Bank's charter."