AIA Decries Failure to Reauthorize Export-Import Bank

aialogosmStatement by Aerospace Industries Association President and CEO David F. Melcher on Congress allowing the authorization of the Export-Import Bank to lapse

Arlington, Va. —Today Congress missed an opportunity to support thousands of American jobs at firms across the nation that are striving to compete in a global marketplace tilted against them by foreign governments and subsidized competition.  Despite the Export-Import Bank of the United States having the support of broad bipartisan majorities in both chambers of Congress, a small minority has prevented a vote reauthorizing this important export financing tool for U.S. exporters.

The Bank is able to continue operating for now, but is unable to support any new projects until it is reauthorized.  As Zhao Changhui, the Export-Import Bank of China’s chief country risk analyst, said last week, “With respect to competition in strategy and policies between the U.S. and China, this is a good thing.”  The Chinese export credit agency and agencies like it around the world will be eager to step in on behalf of America’s competitors and snatch the trade opportunities that would otherwise support jobs at American firms.  Every day that goes by sends the message to potential overseas customers that they are better served buying products from countries other than ours.

AIA has been a strong advocate for Ex-Im Bank reauthorization.  For more information on our efforts, please visit our website at: http://www.aia-aerospace.org/industry_issues/export_import_bank/.  Just last week The Hill published a piece I co-authored with Huntington Ingalls President and CEO Mike Petters, “Re-authorize Ex-Im Bank to keep a level playing field.”  The op-ed draws parallels to the collapse of commercial shipbuilding in the United States in the 1980s after the U.S. government terminated a program offsetting foreign subsidies without considering the unintended consequences.  We’ve seen the damage done before – we must not let it happen again.

Thousands of businesses from small mom-and-pop shops to large corporations benefit both directly and indirectly from the Bank’s loan guarantees.  Failure to restore the Bank will strike a blow at companies across the American economy, putting their employees at risk while handing our foreign competitors a huge advantage.  We strongly urge Congress to act now to reauthorize Ex-Im Bank’s charter and restore the level playing field for American exporters.