Failure of Congress to renew Export-Import Bank costs jobs, sales

It’s been a while since we called attention to the consequences of allowing the Export-Import Bank to disappear. But that doesn’t mean the consequences are trivial. A couple of Seattle Times stories provide documentation.

GE plans to move 500 jobs overseas

Authorization for the U.S. Export-Import Bank was not approved by Congress, forcing it to stop lending July 1. Foreign companies use the agency to buy expensive U.S. products when bank loans are not available.
As a result, GE says 100 jobs from a Houston plant that makes gas turbines will move to Hungary and China in 2016. The Fairfield, Connecticut, industrial conglomerate says those countries have lending options in place for customers.

…Another 400 jobs could be created in France instead of factories in South Carolina, Maine and New York if the company wins projects it is bidding on. The projects require financing, and the export-credit agency in France has agreed to provide it.

Closer to home

Following GE, Boeing announced Tuesday that it had lost a bid to sell satellites to a Singapore-based satellite operator, Kacific, because the aerospace giant did not have the backing of a governmental export-credit agency. This news came two months after Boeing similarly lost a contract with ABS Holding, based in Bermuda, and said it would be reducing the workforce in its satellite- manufacturing business, in part because of uncertainty over the Ex-Im Bank.

Boeing Chairman Jim McNerney also has threatened to move work out of the U.S. if the government’s bank is not reauthorized by Congress.

 The Business Roundtable urged congressional lawmakers to pass a multi-year bill reviving the Export-Import Bank.

The Business Roundtable (BRT) argued in a letter to House and Senate leaders that U.S. companies have lost international sales and put hundreds of thousands of jobs at risk because Congress failed to reauthorize the bank before its charter expired June 30.

“Ex-Im Bank is a vital public policy tool for promoting U.S. businesses of all sizes and jobs in the competitive, global marketplace,” wrote Thomas Linebarger, chairman and CEO of Cummins and chairman of the Roundtable’s International Engagement Committee.

For the nation’s most export-dependent state, the Ex-Im Bank provides vital access to international markets. For more, see these compelling videos from AWB.