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Export-Import Bank Reauthorization Act of 2012

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. CANTOR. I thank the gentleman from California.

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak in favor of H.R. 2072, Securing American Jobs Through Exports Act of 2011.

Make no mistake, I am no fan of government subsidies. Export subsidies distort the free market and global trade. And in a perfect world, the Ex-Im Bank, along with its counterparts in Europe, Asia, and elsewhere, would not exist.

But like any other barrier to free trade, the best way to level the playing field and open up markets is through negotiation. Our country has long had a policy to negotiate an end to barriers which prevent the free flow of goods and services. And now, Mr. Speaker, for the first time, with this bill, it will be U.S. policy to initiate and pursue negotiations to end government export subsidies. This is not just a worthwhile goal; it is actually an achievable one.

Now, I know some suggest that we shouldn't negotiate and that we should just shutter the Export-Import Bank right now, that we shouldn't pass the bill, but I would tell my colleagues that I believe that amounts to unilateral disarmament. American businesses and American workers would suffer from unfair competition with subsidized foreign competitors. This bill, with these reforms, offers a better way.

As important as ensuring that we do not unilaterally disarm American business is, bringing strong, necessary reforms to the Export-Import Bank to protect American taxpayers is equally important. I am pleased to say that this bill accomplishes both.

The bill requires Ex-Im Bank to keep default rates below 2 percent. If the bank's default rate exceeds 2 percent, access to any additional capital is shut off while corrective action to bring the default rate below 2 percent would be instituted. If the Ex-Im Bank fails to fix the problem within 6 months, an audit will be conducted by an independent third party to recommend both to Congress and the Treasury Secretary necessary fixes.

The legislation, Mr. Speaker, includes numerous other reforms, including a risk management review, business plans, and an ``anti-Solyndra'' provision to protect taxpayers.

Mr. Speaker, in urging support of this bipartisan legislation, I would like to recognize two colleagues in particular: Gary Miller, the gentleman from California, and Steny Hoyer, the Democratic whip from Maryland. Their hard work helped produce a bill that helps American business while also protecting American taxpayers.

I urge passage of this bill.


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