NCSL Labor & Economic Development Committee Calls for Swift Congressional Reauthorization of the U.S. Export-Import Bank

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April 16, 2012

The Honorable John Boehner
Speaker of the House
United States House of Representatives
Washington D.C. 20510

The Honorable Harry Reid
Majority Leader
United States Senate
Washington D.C. 20510

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Minority Leader
United States House of Representatives
Washington D.C. 20510

The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Minority Leader
United States Senate
Washington D.C. 20510


Dear Speaker Boehner, Majority Leader Reid, Minority Leader Pelosi & Minority Leader McConnell:

On behalf of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), we urge you to reauthorize the United States Export-Import Bank and increase its lending cap. It is essential that swift action takes place before the bank’s current authorization lapses on May 31, 2012, or before the bank’s lending authority is exhausted, as expected, within the next several weeks.

The Export-Import Bank is a vital tool in providing financing assistance for American businesses so that they may thrive in the global market. This assistance is especially important in light of foreign business competitors that benefit from significant financial support from their own governments. U.S. exporters have continually enjoyed strong partnerships between federal and state governments, particularly as they collaborate to foster opportunities for small and medium-sized American businesses to reach international markets. An excellent example of this collaboration has been through The Export-Import Bank’s City/State Partners Program.

The City/State Program has been a useful resource for states governments and  state economic development agencies in identifying local businesses, markets, and trading partners for U.S. goods and businesses abroad. Currently, City/State partners with 67 economic development associations in 41 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. NCSL supports the City/State Partnership Program, however, the usefulness of  it, as well as other similarly successful programs would be threatened if the Export-Import Bank’s authorization or lending authority lapses.

American businesses cannot afford any uncertainty that a lapse in authorization or exhaustion of lending authority would be sure to bring. Either result would amount to an unstable situation for current Ex-Im partners, prospective U.S. exporters, and creditors both in the U.S. and abroad. Growth in U.S. exports has helped contribute to positive job growth and economic recovery, but such gains may be easily mitigated or reversed without Congressional action. It is important that leadership in both the House and the Senate work together to develop a multi-year reauthorization with a significant lending cap increase, and transparency mechanisms to ensure fiduciary soundness and protections for American businesses and workers. Short term stopgap measures would erode exporting confidence for American businesses, international markets and creditors.

Thank you for your consideration of this important matter. For further information, please do not hesitate to contact NCSL State-Federal Affairs staff Jon Jukuri (jon.jukuri@ncsl.org) or Michael Reed (michael.reed@ncsl.org) or call NCSL’s D.C. office at (202)624-5400.

Sincerely,

The Honorable Gary LeBeau
Connecticut Senate
Co-Chair, NCSL Labor & Economic Development Committee

The Honorable Anna Fairclough
Alaska House of Representatives
Co-Chair, NCSL Labor & Economic Development Committee

Attached: NCSL Policy: "Export Promotion"
Cc: Senate Banking Committee, House Financial Services Committee