Arlington, Va. — AIA welcomes last night’s passage of a five-year transportation bill – this is the first time in 17 years that the House and Senate have come together to produce a transportation bill of this length and duration and we congratulate them on that accomplishment.
In particular, we are relieved and delighted that the bill served as a vehicle for a four-year reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank of the United States. The Ex-Im Bank is a valuable tool supporting exports in the aerospace industry – the leading export industry in the U.S. manufacturing sector with a trade surplus of nearly $62 billion. By reauthorizing the Bank, America is sending a clear signal that we are serious about competing in the global marketplace and will take the necessary steps to ensure American exporters have a level playing field.
One last item remains for the Ex-Im Bank to become fully functional again. Currently the bank does not have the required number Directors on their Board to approve any transaction over $10 million. Filling the other seats requires the cooperation of the U.S. Senate and the White House. We urge President Obama and Senate leadership to nominate and confirm new Members to the Ex-Im Board expeditiously.
We applaud the leadership shown by the champions of Ex-Im Bank. Without their tireless work and energy, passage of this bill would not have been possible. We will need their continued support and leadership in future debates impacting the health and global competitiveness of the aerospace industry.