Congressman Denny Heck asks President Trump to restore critical export operation for American jobs and manufacturers
WASHINGTON, D.C., February 16, 2017 – Today U.S. Representative Denny Heck (WA-10) urged President Donald Trump to nominate board members to the Export-Import Bank of the United States.
Since 2015, the Export-Import Bank has been unable to approve transactions larger than $10 million, impacting large American manufacturers with extensive supply chains.
“The single best thing you can do to keep America as the economic titan in the world is to submit nominations for the vacant seats on the Ex-Im Board,” Heck said in the letter. “American companies can be powerful competitors if given the chance, and part of giving them a chance is restoring the agency that fills the financing gaps so that all American products can be sold into any market in the world.”
The Export-Import Bank is the nation’s official export credit agency and a tool helping companies in Washington state and nationwide sell products overseas and create American jobs. When the bank’s authorization lapsed on June 30, 2015, the bank was forced to stop its assistance to U.S. exporters -- threatening export deals for more than 100 exporters in Washington state.
Reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank of the United States until 2019 was included in H.R. 22, the DRIVE Act, which passed in the House by a vote of 371 – 54 on November 5, 2015, following a historic ‘discharge petition’ maneuver.
Full text of the letter:
February 16, 2017
Dear President Trump,
I have been watching with interest your passion to reinvigorate American manufacturing, and I welcome your embrace of this effort. I share your goal, and I have a suggestion on how to speed our progress toward it.
I want us to be a nation that builds things for the world to consume. We do a great job of making the most complex, intricate and impressive items ever invented. I want tractors, planes, medical devices, speakers and rockets to be built in America by American workers working for American companies.
To help achieve that, I have spent more of my time in Congress on one effort than anything else: reauthorizing and supporting the Export-Import Bank of the United States. The Ex-Im Bank gives American manufacturers access to more customers and lets them compete globally, and it does it on just two conditions: that they use American workers to produce their products and that they protect the American taxpayer from risk of loss. It is an American success story.
As you may know, all other major economies have copied our success with Ex-Im. Today, 53 foreign export credit agencies boost manufacturing across the sea. At the same time, ideologues have worked to undermine Ex-Im’s standing. Reauthorization was a terrible slog, and even after we succeeded, opponents have blocked nominations to Ex-Im’s Board, strangling its support of capital goods manufacturers. As a result, the Bank’s activity dropped by 75% last year. I don’t think anyone wants to create a world where we have no choice but to buy subpar goods from China, but that’s the outcome we’re slumping toward if we won’t support our manufacturers.
The single best thing you can do to keep America as the economic titan in the world is to submit nominations for the vacant seats on the Ex-Im Board. American companies can be powerful competitors if given the chance, and part of giving them a chance is restoring the agency that fills the financing gaps so that all American products can be sold into any market in the world. I look forward to seeing your nominations, and I am prepared to do whatever I can to assist you in restoring the Export-Import Bank of the United States to full strength.
Member of Congress