WASHINGTON, D.C. — Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) is calling on Congress to reauthorize the charter of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank).
Ex-Im, the official export credit agency of the United States, assists in financing the export of US goods and services to international markets. It does so by filling in gaps in private trade financing by offering loans, guarantees and insurance that private financiers might be unable or unwilling to give.
The bank is self-sustaining and sent a little over $1 billion in revenue to the US Treasury in FY13. Ex-Im’s charter expires on Sept. 30.
Brown’s call comes amidst a split among conservatives – pro-business and Tea Party Republicans – on whether to kill or renew the bank.
“Exporting is difficult,” Brown said in a conference call on Wednesday. “ When I travel around Ohio I hear from small business owners who want to expand and create jobs and get access to foreign markets, but can’t secure private financing due to the credit risks associated with overseas investments oftentimes. One of the most important resources to help small and midsized businesses, particularly manufacturers, to help them boost their exports, is the Ex-Im bank.”
According to Brown’s office, since 2007 258 Ohio businesses, including 178 small businesses have received support from the bank.
One such business is Lion Apparel in Dayton, which has used Ex-Im’s services for 15 years. Lion is a privately held mid-sized manufacturing company that creates specialty fire service equipment.
“[Ex-Im] has allowed us over the last eight years in one specific country to ship almost 20,000 units, which is in the multimillion dollars for us,” John Granby, senior vice president at LION, said during Brown’s conference call. “It has provided jobs.”
Granby also said the bank allowed LION to expand its operations in Mexico.
“We should be making it easier for small business to compete on a global scale,” Brown said. “Ex-Im lets small business owners focus on exporting their products instead of worrying about their financing. That’s why it’s time to reauthorize the Ex-Im bank.”