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Tonko Cheers Local Impact in Vote to Reauthorize Export-Import Bank

Federal bank has supported $337 million in Capital Region business exports since 2015 reauthorization

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Washington, November 15, 2019 | comments

WASHINGTON—Congressman Paul D. Tonko voted today to pass H.R. 4863, the United States Export Finance Agency Act, legislation that would reauthorize the U.S. Export-Import (EXIM) Bank. EXIM has provided financial backing and support numerous Capital Region businesses, helping connect to new buyers overseas and guarantee the sale of products ‘Made in the USA’ throughout the world. Congressman Tonko has been a longtime champion of EXIM Bank and pushed successfully to reauthorize the agency in 2015 and avoid an agency shutdown.

“Making export growth as easy as possible for our local businesses and manufacturers is an important part of supporting a thriving Capital Region economy,” Congressman Tonko said. “The more these local businesses are able to export goods and services internationally, the better they are able to grow jobs and add to the economy here at home. EXIM services not only provide that essential service to businesses of all sizes, it also helps local businesses stay competitive in an increasingly crowded global marketplace. Passing this legislation through the House is an important step in maintaining these vital export services, and I urge my Senate colleagues to do the same and secure the future of America’s Export-Import Bank without delay.” 

EXIM is a self-sustaining federal agency and the official export credit agency of the United States. It facilitates exports of manufactured goods and services, particularly with small-businesses, at no cost to the American taxpayer. Since Tonko’s successful push for EXIM reauthorization in 2015, the agency has provided financial services to nearly a dozen Capital Region businesses supporting a combined $337 million in local export value. Participating local companies range in size and include General Electric in Schenectady, CMP Industries in Albany, Perrone Leather in Fultonville, Transtech Systems, Inc. in Latham, and Atlas Copco Compressors LLC in Voorheesville. 

In addition to reauthorizing EXIM for the next 10 years, H.R. 4863: United States Export Finance Agency Act would:

  • Increase the Bank’s statutory financing capacity from $135 billion to $175 billion by 2026
  • Establish a provision to allow for financing decisions to be made if the Board lacks quorum for more than 90 days
  • Create an Office of Financing for Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency, and Energy Storage Exports
  • Further strengthen EXIM support for small businesses by increasing the lending proportion dedicated to financing small businesses

This legislation to reauthorize the EXIM Bank has received substantial support particularly from organized labor groups: 

AFL-CIO: “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.”

International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers: “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.” 

International Federation of Professional & Technical Engineers: “This legislation includes straightforward measures to reform EXIM’s quorum rules so that EXIM’s ability to support American exports and jobs cannot be limited by political gridlock… Along with the reforms to the quorum rules, the ten-year reauthorization in this bill and the gradual increase in EXIM’s exposure cap from $135 billion to $175 billion will create stability and room for EXIM’s financing ability to grow its portfolio of projects, support U.S. exports, and drive economic growth.”

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