I voted to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank this week to help create American jobs and expand our trade. The Export-Import Bank is a key driver in re-building the US workforce in industries such as manufacturing, oil & gas, aerospace, agriculture machinery and mining. In 2011 alone, the Export-Import Bank supported over 290,000 export related US jobs -- jobs we cannot afford to lose.
The Export-Import Bank consistently operates at a profit and it's default rate is below the default rate of commercial banks. It has returned about $3.5 billion to the U.S. Treasury above and beyond the cost of its operations.
I have heard from numerous small businesses and farmers who use the services of this bank to help them export products to countries they could not otherwise serve. Many larger companies can self finance their trade deals, but small businesses and industries with substantial cost, like aerospace and companies that build nuclear power plants, could not participate in the international arena without the Export-Import Bank. In fact, in 2011 the Export Import Bank authorized $6 B in direct support for nearly 2,000 US small businesses.
It would be foolish to discontinue the US Export-Import Bank when our economy needs all of the help it can get. Our foreign competitors would simply fill the void and use their own rapidly expanding export import banks to finance deals for their own industries, putting our companies at competitive disadvantage and jeopardizing American jobs. I will continue to fight for free market policies that protect our job creators and protect American taxpayers from unnecessary burdens. This legislation does just that.