Editorial: U.S. Export-Import Bank Makes A Real Difference


From West Chester to Malvern to Exton to Phoenixville and so many of the communities across southeastern Pennsylvania, the U.S. Export-Import Bank makes a real difference for the local small businesses; companies that are the real engines of job growth across the Delaware Valley.

Whether it’s Schramm’s in West Chester, Turkey Hill in Conestoga, or TW Metals in Exton, the U.S. Export-Import Bank plays a vital role in helping American business grow by giving American businesses a fair shot in the global marketplace.

The U.S. Export-Import Bank provides crucial assistance that private banks can’t or won’t to help companies sell their products to new international markets.

Companies get loans from the Bank for the working capital they need to fill export orders. The Bank also provides credit insurance to protect businesses against the risk of foreign buyers defaulting due to political unrest or other factors.

The latter is especially crucial for any small business seeking to enter emerging markets around the globe, which, while filled with job-generating opportunities, often carry a risk load that private institutions won’t fill.

And its not just big businesses the U.S. Export-Import Bank benefits, but small- and medium-sized business as well.

Val Products in Congressman Joe Pitts’ district, Metallurgical Products Company of West Chester in Jim Gerlach’s congressional district and Sylvan America in Pat Meehan’s 7th congressional district are just a sample of the hundreds of Delaware Valley small businesses assisted by IM-EX Bank in 2013.

Statistics from UPS show that small businesses that participate in global trade are 20% more productive and produce 20% greater job growth than those that don’t.

At a time when so much of Washington seems broken, the U.S. Export-Import Bank is a rare example of how government can foster a climate for growth and economic success.

The Bank has a remarkable track record of generating job growth at low or zero cost to the taxpayer. In 2013 alone the Bank returned more than $1 billion returned to the U.S. Treasury alone.

The Bank’s enviable default rate of 2-percent is evidence of its prudent record assisting business owners around the country.

If the United States walks away from the Bank now, we will be shooting ourselves in the foot while other countries race ahead. Germany and France extended roughly two and a half times as much export financing as the Bank did in 2012. India’s export credit agency provided nearly three times as much as the United States, and South Korea ten times as much.

As other countries push ahead of us in broadband speeds, quality of education, and so many other factors, we simply cannot afford to lose out in support for small business.

Congress must step up and reauthorize this key initiative before the Bank’s charter expires on September 30.

Top photo credit: Dendroica cerulea via photopin cc

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