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Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) appeared on a Hill Panel yesterday to announce the pending introduction of legislation (Kirk-Manchin Bill) that would extend the Ex-Im Bank authorization, currently set to expire on June 30, 2015. Similar legislation –H.R. 597 – the "Reform Exports and Expand the American Economy Act" – introduced by Rep. Fincher (R-Tenn.) is already pending in the House. When asked about the timing of introduction, Sen. Manchin indicated that staff was just working on final details.
This week, TechAmerica, powered by CompTIA, participated as a member of Ex-Im Bank Coalition Fly-In. The event drew over 650 persons from across the country — all of whom were very concerned with the failure of Congress to extend bank authority. During hundreds of Hill meetings, exporters, lenders and suppliers stressed the importance continuing Ex-Im Bank authorization to their businesses and employees.
Since 2007, almost 9,000 companies have used the Ex-Im bank to finance export sales, including almost 6,000 small businesses. These numbers do not include multiple businesses that act as suppliers to the exporting concerns. While the bank financed only about 2% of all U.S. export sales in 2014, this 2% represented $27.5 billion in sales and supported 164,000 jobs. Congress should carefully consider the devastating economic impact that would be brought on these American businesses and workers if the Ex-Im Bank is not re-authorized. Already, some companies are losing sales because of the uncertain future of the Ex-Im Bank.
TechAmerica fully supports extension of the Ex-Im Bank Authorization. Congress should act quickly to preserve these America jobs.