What do you know about the Export-Import Bank?
The Export-Import Bank – commonly referred to as Ex-Im Bank – provides loans and insurance to companies exporting goods and services. The bank is up for reauthorization Oct. 1 and without it, companies like Boeing and a lot of small businesses – including some in the Spokane region – will have a difficult time finding financing for their exports. We touched on this subject when we were in Washington D.C. in April.
Congress’ reauthorization of the Ex-Im bank traditionally hasn’t been a problem. But this year is different. Some critics say the bank only works with large corporations. The data shows, though, that almost 73 percent of the businesses in Washington that use the Ex-Im bank are considered small- or medium-sized businesses.
The Seattle Times has a good editorial examining the issue.
The bank helps maintain and support jobs in our area and is a big asset to the businesses that use its services. Recently, Sandra Jarrard – our Director of Public Policy – joined the Association of Washington Business on a trip to Washington D.C. to meet with lawmakers and lobby for the bank’s reauthorization.
We asked Sandra a few questions about the trip:
Why is the Export-Import Bank important for businesses in our region?
Sandra: It’s important because it provides direct loans and it also insurance to those exporting. The loans the Export-Import bank provides are ones commercial banks likely wouldn’t due to the insurance needed when dealing with international markets. Businesses that use the Export-Import Bank would have limited options if the Export-Import Bank wasn’t reauthorized.
Who were some of the elected officials you met with in D.C.?
Sandra: We met with Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Representative Denny Heck, Representative Derek Kilmer and many others from Washington. We also met with Representative Rob Bishop of Utah because an individual in our group was from Janicki Industries, which is headquartered in Washington but has a plant in Utah. Janicki is a supplier to Boeing, and is happy when Boeing is able to use the Export-Import Bank because the better Boeing does, the better Janicki does.
We also had an individual from Yakima who makes music stands. That company (Manhasset Specialty Company) is able to use the insurance piece of the Export-Import Bank. A lot of commercial banks don’t want to provide loans unless the company has insurance for exports.
What did you hear from those you met with?
Sandra: Representative Heck said it’s very important that the Washington delegation support the reauthorization because Washington is the most trade-dependent state in the nation. He believes reauthorization will be a challenge but also said if we continue to reach out to our delegation then it could be reauthorized.
So will the bank be reauthorized?
Sandra: I think it’ll be extended through a continuing resolution and the debate will continue after Oct. 1. I don’t think it’ll be reauthorized by then so that gives us a lot of homework to do.
Reauthorizing the Ex-Im bank is important for Washington to continue to be a leader in international trade. The bank is crucial for our state’s manufacturing, aerospace and agriculture industries.
We encourage you to contact your elected officials and ask them to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank:
House of Representatives