Congressman Aaron Schock (R-IL), after a yearlong effort to education his House colleagues on the need to pass the reauthorization, praised the strong bipartisan vote in the House today to reauthorize the Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank. The Ex-Im Bank is the official export credit agency of the United States that provides loan backing and other services to US exporters. Today's vote reauthorized the program for three years, providing much needed certainty to Illinois businesses and manufacturers who export their products.
"The Ex-Im bank is an important tool for global companies like Caterpillar. The action today will result in future growth and job creation in Central Illinois," said Schock. "This is a big win for US manufacturers and job creators."
Manufactures like Caterpillar agree and praised the reauthorization and what it means for workers in Illinois. For example, Caterpillar hires skilled workers who make the large track tractors that are made in East Peoria, IL and the large mining trucks that are manufactured in Decatur, IL. In both cases, over 80 percent of this equipment is exported to construction sites around the world while employing thousands of people in communities across Illinois.
"Today's vote is a victory for the millions of U.S. workers and their families whose present and future livelihood depends on international trade," said Doug Oberhelman, Chairman and CEO of Caterpillar Inc. "With Ex-Im Bank authorization due to expire at the end of May, America can afford no further delay. We are pleased with the bipartisan agreement forged in the House. This long-term reauthorization with significant, increased lending authority for the Ex-Im Bank is a win-win proposition. It is now time for the Senate to act so the Ex-Im Bank can continue to help U.S. companies of all sizes compete for sales around the world and support American jobs."
Schock, a member of the Ways and Means subcommittee on Trade, has been a strong backer of the reauthorization of the Ex-Im bank. At the beginning of the year, Schock set out to help educate others Members of Congress on the importance of the Ex-Im Bank and why a long-term reauthorization is vital to our economy. In a letter Schock sent to his House colleagues he stressed that, "Not only does the Ex-Im Bank enhance U.S. manufacturing competitiveness, it doesn't cost the taxpayer a dime." Schock added that in recent years, the Ex-Im bank has generated enough fees to more than offset its cost.
The reauthorization will allow the Ex-Im Bank to extend credit assistance to help US companies compete against companies in other countries. For example, China offers 17 times more credit assistances to its exporters than the US does. Other countries like the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) Nations are providing substantial assistance as well to their exporters. By reauthorizing the bank we are ensuring US companies are competing on a level playing field.
"Many in Illinois are paying attention to the reauthorization of the Ex-Im Bank," added Schock. "With an agreement that puts us on a level playing field internationally, this extension is good news for the growing export market in Illinois and local job creation."
In 2010, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, the total merchandise exports in Illinois exceeded $48 billion, supporting 650 exporting companies and the over 145,000 people they employ.