Larsen Helps Lead Passage of Bill to Reauthorize the Job-Creating Export-Import Bank

May 9, 2012

WASHINGTON—Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02, today helped lead passage of a bill to reauthorize and expand the Export-Import Bank. Larsen introduced a bipartisan bill (HR 4302) to reauthorize the bank earlier this year, and has worked to persuade his colleagues to support reauthorization. The bank’s charter is currently set to expire on May 31. Larsen today spoke on the floor in support of HR 2072, the result of a bipartisan compromise between Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer and Majority Leader Eric Cantor. (Video here, audio here, full text below).

“The Ex-Im Bank supports thousands of jobs in Northwest Washington. Passage of this bill keeps America open for business,” Larsen said. “It will allow us to expand our exports overseas while creating more jobs here at home. And it does all this without costing taxpayers a single dime. In fact it is an investment that pays dividends back to the U.S. taxpayer, helping to reduce our deficit by $1.9 billion in the last five years alone.”

In Washington’s 2nd Congressional District, the Ex-Im Bank has helped finance the sale of more than $22 billion in exports from 13 companies, including 7 small businesses, in the last five years alone.

“Over the last few months I have heard from hundreds of workers in Northwest Washington whose jobs rely in part on the Ex-Im Bank,” Larsen added. “Last week I met with small manufacturers in Whatcom County that use the Ex-Im Bank to sell their products overseas. The legislation we passed today will help workers across our region at these small businesses and at large companies including Boeing.”

The bill, which passed today on a 330 to 93 vote, expands the Bank’s lending cap by $40 billion to $140 billion and extends the charter to October 2014. The bill passed today is very similar to the bill Larsen introduced.

“Congressman Larsen’s tireless advocacy was instrumental in securing a deal to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank, which helps exporters like Boeing and others compete overseas and keep jobs here in America,” said House Minority Leader Steny Hoyer. “This agreement will help further our recovery and make it easier for businesses in Washington State and across the country to reach new markets and expand their operations, which in turn will help put more Americans back to work.”

Ferndale-based Western Chemical uses the Ex-Im Bank to sell their fish health products overseas to customers in South America and Europe. CEO Steven Becker recently sent a letter to Larsen thanking him for his support of the Ex-Im Bank.

In the letter, Becker wrote, “The Ex-Im Bank has been indispensable in allowing our business to grow to $2M in annual Washington state exports this year and $5 million next year and supports 25 full-time employees … Without the support of the Ex-Im Bank, our business would have surely faced stagnant or deflated revenue during the recent recession and continued to face one-sided, subsidized export arrangements abroad.”

Rep. Rick Larsen Floor Statement on the Reauthorization of the Ex-Im Bank
May 9, 2012
 

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to urge my colleagues to vote in favor of HR 2072, the Securing American Jobs Through Exports Act.

The Export-Import Bank creates jobs. It reduces our trade deficit. And helps to lower our national debt.

It is a tool that our manufacturers, both large and small, use to expand their sales to customers around the world so they can keep creating jobs here at home.

In Washington’s 2nd Congressional District, the Ex-Im Bank has helped finance the sale of more than $22 billion in exports from 13 companies, including 7 small businesses, in the last five years.

Last week I sat down with three businesses in Whatcom County that have used the Bank. They told me the Bank is a critical tool, without which they would not be able to sell overseas. The CEO of one of those companies, Western Chemical in Ferndale, Wash., which makes fish health products, told me the Bank has been, quote, “indispensable in allowing our business to grow to $2M in annual Washington state exports this year and $5 million next year and supports 25 full-time employees.”

The Bank also supports our much larger exporters. Hundreds of the women and men who make the Boeing 767, 777, and new 787 aircraft in Everett, Wash., recently wrote me urging Congress to reauthorize the Bank because their jobs and our local economy rely on it.

The Ex-Im Bank has been so successful in recent years in boosting our exports that its lending authority needs to be expanded to keep up with our growing manufacturers.

I was proud to introduce a bipartisan bill earlier this year with Congressman Manzullo to reauthorize and expand the Ex-Im Bank. I am pleased that Whip Hoyer and Leader Cantor were able to work out this sensible, bipartisan agreement that is largely in line with the bill I introduced, HR 4302.

I know some of the critics of this bill will call this corporate welfare and say it is government manipulating in the market. The fact of the matter is every other major economy has a similar export-promotion program, and if we were to let the Ex-Im Bank expire, it would only help foreign companies at the expense of American exports and American jobs. Not only that, but the Ex-Im Bank is an investment that pays dividends back to the U.S. taxpayer, helping to reduce our deficit by $1.9 billion in the last five years alone.

Thousands of workers in my district and around the country depend on the Ex-Im Bank for their jobs.

I want to thank Whip Hoyer and Leader Cantor for their tireless work on this bill, as well as Congressman Manzullo for his work with me on this issue. I call on my colleagues to pass this bill so we can keep America open for business.

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