Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema (AZ) and Republican Senator Kevin Cramer (ND) have introduced a bipartisan ten-year reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) ahead of the bank’s expiration.
“Our bipartisan renewal provides certainty to employers across our country and represents a step away from Congress’s usual short-term crisis management,” Senate Banking Committee member Sinema said in a press release.
As the official export credit agency of the U.S., EXIM fills the gap caused when private-sector lenders are unable or unwilling to provide financing for American businesses by giving them the financing tools needed to compete for global sales.
The bank has supported 1.7 million jobs over the past 10 years and more than 90 percent of the EXIM’s transactions directly support small businesses.
As right now the EXIM is set to expire on September 30th unless the U.S. Congress passes an expansion. Providing a ten-year expansion, Sinema and Cramer’s legislation is the longest ever proposed.
“Reauthorizing the bank, with these reasonable reforms, gives it a chance to implement necessary changes while also offering more American manufacturing firms and small businesses the opportunity to compete on the world stage,” Cramer said in a statement.
According to the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the more than 12.8 million men and women who “make things in America” depend on EXIM.
“We need long-term certainty that the EXIM Bank will be able to continue helping manufacturers of all types and sizes secure new sales overseas that support well-paying American jobs. This bipartisan legislation…will help do just that,” NAM Vice President of International Affairs Linda Dempsey said.
In 2015, EXIM lost its quorum rendering it unable to consider major deals or implement reforms that protect taxpayers and modernize its operations.
According to Sinema, the plan will provide a quorum fix that ensures American exporters do not lose out on job-creating deals due to political gridlock and increases the Bank’s exposure cap to $175 billion over seven years.
EXIM has helped Arizona businesses finance $2 billion in exports over the last five years and in the past year, it has helped grow the state’s economy by helping 37 Arizona businesses, including 27 small businesses, finance more than $57 million in exports and creating jobs.
“The Export-Import Bank is critical for my state’s economy because it ensures Arizona businesses can compete, and win, on a level playing field with foreign competitors,” Sinema said.
Export-Import Bank Chairman Kimberly Reed is scheduled to travel to Phoenix, Arizona next week to meet with business leaders to discuss the impact of the bank.