TO THE MEMBERS OF THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world’s largest business federation, representing the interests of more than three million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, strongly supports H.R. 2072, the “Export-Import Bank Reauthorization Act of 2012,” a compromise bill which would reauthorize the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im) set to expire on May 31, 2012.
Failure to enact this bill would put at risk the nearly 300,000 American jobs at 3,600 companies that depend on Ex-Im to compete in global markets. Ex-Im is especially important to small- and medium-sized businesses, which account for more than 85 percent of Ex-Im’s transactions. Tens of thousands of smaller companies that supply goods and services to large exporters also benefit from Ex-Im’s activities.
Because other countries are providing their own exporters with an estimated $1 trillion in export finance— often on terms more generous than Ex-Im can provide — failure to reauthorize Ex-Im would amount to unilateral disarmament and cost tens of thousands of American jobs. China, for instance, has three export credit agencies that last year provided $300 billion in export finance to its exporters — 10 times more than Ex-Im provided. This bill would help level the financial playing field in export markets and ensure transparency in Ex-Im’s operations.
American taxpayers can cheer the fact that this bill would reduce the federal deficit by hundreds of millions of dollars. Far from being a subsidy for corporations, Ex-Im charges fees for its services that have generated more than $4 billion in revenue for the U.S. Treasury over the past six years. Further, Ex-Im loans expose the U.S. taxpayer to little risk because they are backed by the collateral of the goods being exported. Borrowers have defaulted on less than 2 percent of all loans backed by Ex-Im over the past eight decades, a default rate lower than commercial banks.
The Chamber strongly supports H.R. 2072 and urges the House to consider this issue as expeditiously as possible. The Chamber will include votes on, or in relation to, this bill in our annual How They Voted scorecard.
R. Bruce Josten