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NAM: Says Ex-Im reauthorization about jobs and economy

Amid the continuing debate on the Ex-Im Bank’s reauthorization, The Hill (7/9, Cirilli, Needham) highlights the stances of various politicians, including incumbents and challengers, on renewing the charter of the Ex-Im Bank. Senators who have made statements in support of the legislation include Mark Warner (D-VA), Joe Manchin (R-WV), Mark Kirk (R-IL), and Lindsey Graham (R-SC). Graham has said he has “led the effort to reauthorize” in the past and is considering supporting a measure reauthorizing the Bank again. NAM Vice President of International Economic Affairs Linda Dempsey commented that the debate over the Bank “is spurring candidates to ask more questions.” She added, “The level of intensity has certainly increased in recent weeks. It is not a one-way street.” Dempsey noted that members of Congress are becoming aware of just how big a role the Ex-Im Bank plays in helping businesses in their districts because of recent lobbying efforts. “With some companies already reporting that they are losing deals and laying off workers due to the uncertainty over congressional action on Ex-Im, this is very much getting to the heart of what most pundits believe this election is about — jobs and the economy,” she said.

NAM Increases Pressure On Lawmakers To Renew Ex-Im Bank. The Hill (7/8, Cirilli, Needham)reports that business groups, including the National Association of Manufacturers, are “turning their firepower toward the Senate” in the battle to keep the US Export-Import Bank alive. The “powerful business groups” are increasing their lobbying efforts, calling the Ex-Im Bank “critical” in helping both large and small businesses export goods. Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) are planning to unveil legislation later this week that would reauthorize the Bank. Leaders from the Democratic Party have said that the bill could reach the floor with some speed. The Bank’s reauthorization is “divisive” within the Republican Party, where opposition is “even more intense” this time than it has been in the past. Proponents of the Bank believe that support from Senate Republicans will provide House Republicans with some cover in backing the Bank.

Bloomberg BusinessWeek (7/8, Bender, Hunter) reports that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is considering attaching a short-term reauthorization of the Ex-Im Bank to a bill funding the government beyond the end of the fiscal year. The bill would make House GOP members decide “between preserving the bank… or shutting down the government” right before the November elections.

Politico (7/8, Bresnahan, Sherman) also reported this story.

The North Jersey (NJ) Media Group (7/8, Lynn) profiles DriTac glue company in Clifton, New Jersey, and how the Export-Import Bank helped the manufacturer secure funding to export goods to India. Rep. William Pascrell (D-NJ) toured the factoryon Tuesday announcing his support for reauthorizing the Bank. The article highlights that the Ex-Im Bank turns a profit and helps secure jobs at small local manufacturers.

Columns And Op-eds On Benefits Of Ex-Im. Columnist Chris Tomlinson writes in the Houston Chronicle (7/8) that that Houston “businesses need the Ex-Im Bank to be renewed, and the campaign against the bank is disinformation in its worst form.” Tomlinson shares the story of a local manufacturer who uses the Bank to export goods and provide jobs for 75 employees, “half of whom rely on exports for their livelihoods.” The owner of the manufacturing company “bristles at the suggestion the bank is corporate welfare” because he has to pay significant fees to use the Bank’s services. “The idea that the federal government shouldn’t help our businesses trade overseas is to deny Americans a fighting chance,” Tomlinson says.

In a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (7/9, Roderick) op-ed Danny Roderick, president and CEO of Westinghouse Electric Co., touts the benefits that the Ex-Im Bank provides to his company. Calling the Bank “essential for American business” and American workers, Roderick writes that the Ex-Im Bank financing has helped Westinghouse compete for international nuclear plant projects against other companies who are subsidized by their governments. Failure to reauthorize the charter of Ex-Im is equivalent to a “unilateral US trade disarmament” and would prevent Westinghouse and other companies from competing against the subsidized competitors on projects that create thousands of jobs at home. He closes by saying that losing Ex-Im means losing US jobs in the short term, and that in the “long-term, the economic consequences would be far greater.”

In a letter to the Washington Post (7/8), Gordon O. F. Johnson of Alexandria writes in support of the Ex-Im Bank from the perspective of a former business owner. Johnson writes that his company “had customers in 90 countries” and observes “it is not a level playing field out there.” Johnson concludes, “Let’s be realistic about the global world we live in. If the problem is crony capitalism, let’s address that problem.”

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