Expand opportunity by preserving the Export-Import Bank

Washington’s trade-dependent status is well known. We wrote about it here

Washington’s economy is highly dependent on global trade. The state ranks second in the nation in exports per capita. According to the Washington Council on International Trade, 40 percent of the jobs in the state are related to trade in some way. Given its many trade advantages, the state is well-positioned to continue to be a leader in international trade for years to come.

In addition to guaranteeing great roads, bridges, and ports – freight mobility – one key to preserving that leadership role is maintaining access to capital. The Export-Import Bank plays a major role for many Washington businesses. The Association of Washington Business recently led a delegation to Congress to urge long-term reauthorization of the Ex-Im Bank. AWB pointed out:

The Ex-Im Bank ensures that 227 employers in Washington have access to solid financing, loan guarantees and export credit insurance to sell to buyers overseas.

More from AWB here.

Today the Seattle Times editorial board endorsed reauthorization.

In 2014, the bank supported $20.5 billion worth of deals. About 90 percent of the bank’s beneficiaries are small businesses, while the rest are large companies such as Boeing. About 18 percent of its 2013 airplane deliveries were made possible because of the Ex-Im Bank.

Many of the bank’s transactions involve insuring deals: for example, a Washington winemaker that sells wine overseas but won’t receive payment until the shipment is received, or a loan guarantee to an airline in a developing nation that wants to buy an airplane and a private bank will only loan the money if the Ex-Im Bank backs it.

See also this from Republic 3.0.

U.S. Export-Import Bank plays a key role in helping American small businesses seize export opportunities in foreign markets. Over the past four years, it has completed over 12,000 financing transactions for small firms—supporting nearly $50 billion in small business exports and well over 100,000 small business jobs—and has hosted over 75 small business export forums in communities nationwide. In 2014, 90 percent of the Ex-Im Bank’s transactions benefitted small businesses.

The Ex-Im Bank plays a major role in expanding opportunity in our state, in all states. Reauthorization makes economic sense.