Immediate Release: May 4, 2012
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Jim McDermott (D-WA), the top-ranking Democrat of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade, is introducing a bill next week to adequately increase and improve U.S. export promotion. The bill will propose a large reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank, which has recently been mired in a lobbyist-driven dispute that does not give the Bank the tools it really needs to promote U.S. exports over the long-term.
“Many people that don’t understand how crucial the Bank is – the Export-Import Bank provides loans and other assistance to U.S. companies to export U.S.-made products, and it does it at no cost to the taxpayer,” said Congressman McDermott. “It is troubling that the current reauthorization debate is not focused on substantially increasing the Bank’s lending authority when it has a proven track record of helping American businesses, creating jobs and actually making money for the U.S. taxpayer.”
In 2010 alone, the Ex-Im Bank supported $34 billion worth of U.S. exports and 227,000 U.S. jobs at more than 3,300 U.S. companies, and since 1990, the Bank has returned $4.9 billion to the U.S. Treasury. In Washington state alone, 142 companies have received export assistance from the Bank since 2007. Unlike current negotiations, which would extend the Bank’s authorization for only 2-3 years and increase its lending authority by about $40 billion, McDermott’s bill would extend the Bank’s authorization through 2021 and double its lending authority to $200 billion.
In addition, McDermott’s bill would require the Government Accountability Office to produce a study about the U.S. Export-Import Bank and compare it to similar Banks that exist in over 50 other countries. The purpose of the study will be to shed light on what role these Banks play and how to improve the United States’ Export-Import Bank to compete better with those of other countries.
“I recognize that the Bank isn’t well-known and that there are a number of new Members of Congress who don’t fully understand what it does,” added McDermott. “Moving forward, though, it’s important that people understand that the Bank plays a major role in promoting U.S.-made exports, and I think an official, non-partisan study about the Bank will help illuminate its importance for all Members of Congress as well as the public at large.”
Follow McDermott on Twitter: @RepJimMcDermott.