Kilmer Votes for Export-Import Bank Reauthorization

Friday, Representative Derek Kilmer (WA-06) joined a bipartisan coalition of over 230 Members of Congress in supporting the United States Export Finance Agency Act of 2019, reauthorizing and expanding the Export-Import Bank (EXIM) for ten years. The Bank is credited by its supporters with providing opportunities for American workers, jobs, entrepreneurship, and the U.S. manufacturing economy.

“Reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank is really important for small businesses in our region and more broadly for export-dependent states like Washington,” said Rep. Kilmer. “It’s an essential tool in the trade toolbox that helps enable American-made products to be sold around the world and supports the growth of our local jobs. The broad support for this bill is a testament to the hard work of Representative Denny Heck. I’m grateful that Congress has taken action that will support the growth of local businesses in our region to ship Washington-made and American-made goods around the world.”

As the official national export credit agency, EXIM helps create and sustain American jobs by filling in the gaps in private sector financing for sales of ‘Made in the USA’ products and services to buyers around the world. It does this in two ways: when U.S. exporters and small businesses are unable to access export financing from private sources, the Bank offers loan guarantees, insurance and access to working capital; if U.S. exporters are disadvantaged by unfair competition from foreign companies that are heavily subsidized by their countries’ governments, the Bank helps level the competitive playing field by offering U.S. companies buyer financing.

Specifically, the bill passed today increases the Bank’s lending authority from $135 billion to $175 billion and changes the name of the Export-Import Bank to the more-accurate United States Export Finance Agency. The bill also creates new programs to help connect foreign buyers with U.S. exporters and strengthens the Agency’s support for small businesses. Additionally, the bill addresses concerns about unfair trade competition and national security by prohibiting the Bank from financing sales to certain bad-actor entities as determined under existing U.S. statute, and promotes a climate-forward global economy through support of renewable energy and technology exports.

The United States Export Finance Agency Act of 2019 has been supported by a number of organizations, with several offering testimony in support of the bill.

A healthy Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im Bank) is pivotal to the creation and sustainability of U.S. jobs in manufacturing, as well as increasing U.S. exports, thereby improving the balance of trade between the U.S. and high export countries… H.R. 4863 reauthorizes the Ex-Im Bank for the next ten years and would gradually increase the bank’s lending authority by $40 billion, resulting in an expansion of projects. Although the bill would rename the Ex-Im Bank as the “United States Export Finance Agency,” its intended mission “to assist in financing the export of U.S. goods and services” would remain unchanged. The legislation also includes provisions that reform the Bank’s quorum rules that have severely limited the Bank’s viability in recent years. The creation of U.S. jobs is essential to a strong economy, and with the Bank’s authorizing charter set to expire in November 2019, now is the time to pass this important piece of legislation. -William Samuel, Director, Government Affairs, AFL-CIO

The Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im Bank) is one of the few U.S. institutions that actually supports U.S. exports and jobs by providing vital loan guarantees for the sale of U.S. goods and services to international markets. This legislation would rename the Ex-Im Bank to the United States Export Finance Agency, but its mission would remain the same, “to assist in financing the export of U.S. goods and services,” enabling “large and small companies to turn export opportunities into real sales that help to maintain and create U.S. jobs and contribute to a stronger national economy.” With the bank’s authorizing charter set to expire in November 2019, it is imperative that Congress work expeditiously to pass this Ex-IM Bank reauthorization legislation before the bank’s charter lapses. -Robert Martinez Jr., International President, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce strongly supports H.R. 4863, the “United States Export Finance Agency Act of 2019,” which would provide for a long-term reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank (“Ex-Im”). The Chamber will consider including votes on this legislation – including votes on amendments – in our annual How They Voted scorecard… U.S. exporters and the hundreds of thousands of jobs that they support need long-term certainty – simply extending the life of Ex-Im through short-term continuing resolutions is not enough. The Chamber urges you to support H.R. 4863. -Jack Howard, senior vice president, Congressional and Public Affairs Division, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce