U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today welcomed the support of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce for reauthorization of the Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank.
"I encourage you to support the reauthorization of Ex-Im promptly and provide it with the adequate credit levels to meet the needs of U.S. exporters," said Brad Dean, President and CEO of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce in a letter to Graham. "Failure to reauthorize Ex-Im will create an unfair disadvantage for American companies, ultimately causing American jobs to move overseas. We cannot afford to not reauthorize Ex-Im."
The Export-Import Bank was established in 1934 and since Ex-Im was last reauthorized in 2006, the bank has returned $3.4 billion to the U.S. Treasury above and beyond the costs of its operations.
"I truly appreciate Brad Dean and the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce for their support of the reauthorization of the Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank," said Graham, who has been leading Republican efforts in the Senate to reauthorize the bank as its charter expires May 31.
The South Carolina House of Representatives unanimously passed a resolution calling on Congress to reauthorize Ex-Im and encouraging the congressional delegation to vote in support. The South Carolina Senate overwhelmingly passed the resolution, 32-2.
Graham noted that both small and large businesses in South Carolina have benefitted from Ex-Im. One of the most prominent statewide examples is The Boeing Company which opened the 787 Dreamliner production facility in North Charleston. The facility employs more than 6,000 people in South Carolina and is responsible for thousands of associated jobs.
In a letter sent to Graham, Jim McNerney, President and CEO of Boeing, noted that eight out of every ten Boeing 787 Dreamliners now built in South Carolina are expected to be purchased by international customers who are eligible for and routinely seek export credit support from Ex-Im Bank. Without Ex-Im, many of these customers would purchase from Airbus, which is made in Europe and backed by multiple European export credit agencies.
"The reauthorization of Ex-Im will directly benefit South Carolina's job creation efforts and manufacturing industries," said Graham. "It is imperative we continue to grow our ability to export goods made in South Carolina around the world."
"I wish we didn't need an Ex-Im bank," said Graham. "But other countries have far more aggressive financing regimes in place. The United States cannot and should not unilaterally disarm. However, it is my goal to do more than reauthorize Ex-Im, we should also work to improve its operations. I look forward to working with my Senate colleagues to achieve both goals of reauthorization and improvement of Ex-Im."
"Last year, exports from South Carolina increased by 21 percent," continued Graham. "We need to continue on that path, creating jobs and putting South Carolinians back to work. If Congress does not reauthorize Ex-Im, it will have a devastating impact to both our state and national economy."