The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im) is an independent federal agency that fills gaps in private export finance in order to bolster U.S. job growth at no cost to American taxpayers. Ex-Im provides trade financing solutions – including export credit insurance, working capital guarantees, and guarantees of commercial loans to foreign buyers – to empower exporters of U.S. goods and services.
Since 2010, Ex-Im has assisted 19 eastern Washington companies. The value of goods exported by those companies was $81 million, and in the greater-Spokane area those companies employ upwards of 1,500 people. In 2014 alone, 10 eastern Washington companies used Ex-Im to export $11 million worth goods. Local companies including SCAFCO, Commercial Creamery, Colmac Coil, Landmark Turf & Native Seed, White’s Boots, Garco Building Systems and Itron have all made use of Ex-Im products to support their foreign sales.
During last year’s Federal Legislative Session, and throughout the year, GSI has advocated for support of the reauthorization of the Ex-Im Bank and we have continued to keep a close eye on progress of reauthorization efforts. Due to a lapse in authority, as of midnight on June 30, the Export-Import Bank of the United States ceased processing new applications or engaging in new business. As a result, small- and medium-sized business exports are stymied, threatening business growth and jobs.
On October 27 the House voted overwhelmingly (313-118) to revive the Ex-Im Bank and GSI would like to recognize our federal representatives for their vote of support.
These votes for this critical legislation represents an important step toward new business opportunities, more robust economic growth and stronger job creation here at home, and we commend their support. Additionally, we applaud Senators Cantwell and Murray for their continued backing of this important agency.
Based on the strong House vote, the Ex-Im reauthorization provision was added to a large transportation bill passed by the House today (November 5). Ten amendments designed to scuttle the Ex-Im reauthorization were defeated by the House the evening of November 4, and again our House delegation representatives rose to the occasion in support of Ex-Im. Now the transportation bill heads to a conference with the Senate to reconcile differences and produce a final bill for the President’s signature. The good news is that the Ex-Im reauthorization provision is identical in the House and Senate bills, so it is likely to be included in the final package.
The bill now moves to the Senate and we will continue to track its progress and keep the local business community informed of any new developments.
International trade is an important part of the work that GSI does to support our local economy and the health of our local businesses. GSI assists businesses throughout the greater-Spokane region with international trade and expansion opportunities into foreign markets. For more information visit our International Trade page. #WhyTradeMatters