U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Co-Chairs of the Senate Manufacturing Caucus, today urged their colleagues to continue a successful initiative to promote U.S. exports and create American jobs. In a bipartisan letter to their Senate colleagues, Senators Stabenow and Graham encouraged fellow Senators to support the reauthorization of the Export-Import bank, which finances sales of U.S. exports to international buyers to help American businesses sell products in international markets. The bank is especially critical to America's manufacturers. Congress must act to reauthorize the bank in the coming weeks in order to keep the Export-Import Bank up and running.
Stabenow and Graham noted that the Export-Import bank has helped over 6,600 American businesses boost their exports in just the last five years-at no cost to taxpayers. In fact, through interest collected on financing export sales, the bank is projected to help reduce the deficit by $900 million over the next five years.
Just last month the Export-Import bank announced it was planning to open a new office in Detroit later this year. That new facility would not move forward if Congress does not vote to reauthorize the bank.
In their letter, the Senators said: "Not only does Export-Import Bank enhance U.S. manufacturing competitiveness in a rapidly expanding global marketplace, but it does so at no cost to American taxpayers. In fact, the Congressional Budget Office recently concluded that a reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank would reduce the deficit by $900 million over five years.... More American exports means more American jobs. And helping domestic manufacturers reach new international markets is one of the best ways to strengthen our economy."
Along with co-chairing the Manufacturing Caucus with Senator Graham, Senator Stabenow has been a member of the President's Export Council under both President Obama and President George W. Bush.
Full text of the Stabenow-Graham letter is below:
As Congress considers action to support American manufacturers and promote job growth, one of the most effective solutions is to vote in favor of reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank. The Export-Import Bank is the official export credit agency of the United States, and it helps manufacturers of all sizes to gain better access to the private export financing they need to sell their products. Not only does Export-Import Bank enhance U.S. manufacturing competitiveness in a rapidly expanding global marketplace, but it does so at no cost to American taxpayers. In fact, the Congressional Budget Office recently concluded that a reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank would reduce the deficit by $900 million over five years.
Export-Import Bank's efforts to finance sales of U.S. exports to international buyers directly aids the private sector's efforts to sustain and create jobs. Creating U.S. jobs is a mission we can all support. The Bank was last reauthorized in 2006, and that authorization expired at the end of September 2011. The Bank is currently operating under a short-term extension that expires on May 31, 2012, though it may reach its lending authority before that date. As a result, we must act swiftly to pass a long-term reauthorization that includes an increase in lending authority.
In 2010, the President set a goal to double U.S. exports by the end of 2014, one he highlighted again during his State of the Union address last month. Export-Import Bank is an integral component for supporting all manufacturers - small, medium, and large - in helping achieve our goal of doubling U.S. exports. Over the last five years, 6,648 exporters have taken advantage of Export-Import Bank's financing. This figure includes 4,507 small businesses, 550 minority-owned businesses, and 389 women-owned businesses.
More American exports means more American jobs. And helping domestic manufacturers reach new international markets is one of the best ways to strengthen our economy. It is time for Congress to move forward with Export-Import Bank's reauthorization, before our American manufacturers start losing out to foreign competitors.
Co-Chair, Senate Manufacturing Caucus
Co-Chair, Senate Manufacturing Caucus