Gov. Chris Gregoire today issued the following statement on the legislation passed today to reauthorize the U.S. Export-Import bank:
"After months of discussions with our federal partners, I'm pleased that lawmakers have listened to my concerns, and those of my fellow governors, and have passed legislation to reauthorize the U.S. Export-Import bank. With Boeing being its largest customer, reauthorization is critical to maintaining and growing our state's aerospace industry. In addition to Boeing, in the last five years alone, Ex-Im Bank has assisted more than 160 Washington state companies, the majority being small businesses. The support resulted in the exporting of tens of billions of dollars worth of products and services. In most cases, this type of financial assistance would not have been available from the private sector, making Ex-Im Bank a critical component to growing our state exports and creating new jobs.
"Additionally, Ex-Im Bank is financially self-sustaining. In the five years since Congress last reauthorized the bank's operations, it has returned more than $3 billion to the U.S. Treasury above and beyond the cost of its operations. During a time when there is a lot of concern about the federal deficit, the bank makes money for the U.S. Government.
"I thank Washington's Congressional delegation and Congress for passage of this bill, and commend the work of Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley, who joined with me to achieve strong, bi-partisan gubernatorial support for this critical legislation."
Statement from Fred Hochberg, president of the Ex-Im Bank:
"Governor Gregoire has been a strong champion in supporting the Bank's reauthorization. She has promoted multi-state governor support letters to Congress and has been a vocal supporter to ensure that American businesses - both large and small - have access to export financing."