Question: What 80-year old government entity helps U.S. businesses create jobs, compete globally, and make a profit for taxpayers? Answer: “Ex-Im”-the biggest little competitive advantage you may have never heard of. ”Ex-Im” stands for The Export-Import Bank of the United States. It is the official export credit agency that assists in financing the export of U.S. goods and services to international customers. Ex-Im does not compete with private lending institutions but provides export financing tools like financing, credit insurance, and loan guarantees that fill in the gaps the private sector isn’t serving. Ex-Im assumes credit and country risks and helps level the playing field for U.S. exporters by matching the financing foreign governments provide to their own folks. Ex-Im helps both large and small business, but more than 85 percent of its transactions directly benefit small U.S. businesses.
In Orange County alone, Ex-Im financed nearly $3 billion in exports since 2007. And 75 percent of the local companies that used Ex-Im financing to secure these deals were small businesses. These companies had already lined up the foreign customers and had products ready to ship. But without Ex-Im, they couldn’t have closed these sales. Ex-Im enabled them to generate critical investment in the Orange County business community, adding jobs and diversifying the economy. This is important to Orange County’s growth and the state’s economic recovery.Good news, right?
Unfortunately some members of Congress are threatening to abolish this bank. They claim that Ex-Im puts taxpayer dollars at risk and unnecessarily intrudes into the private market. While in fact, Ex-Im maintains conservative lending policies that have actually enabled the Bank to pay taxpayers-you and me-a profit: more than $1 billion last year alone. That’s right, a government entity that actually makes money and helps pay down the federal debt! Shutting down Ex-Im only helps foreign companies grab more global businesses from U.S. companies hamstrung by inequitable and outdated trade and tax policies. True, Congress should fix those as well, but in the meantime, Ex-Im is the successful fuel that stokes the export engine and accelerates California’s economic recovery. Call your Congressional representative and seek his or her support. Reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank now.