Cantwell, colleagues urge swift reauthorization of Export-Import Bank

U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) joined Senate Small Business Committee members in urging Senate leadership to move forward as soon as possible on reauthorizing the Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank before its temporary extension expires in May, her office said this week.

In Washington state, the Ex-Im Bank has provided $26.7 billion in loans, resulting in $60.3 billion in sales since 2007, Cantwell’s office said.

In a letter sent this week to Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), the Senators wrote: “The financing that Ex-Im Bank provides is a critical tool for small businesses to increase foreign sales. Congress must act to help these exporting entrepreneurs increase jobs and profitability here at home.”

The Senators continued: “Over the past 76 years, Ex-Im Bank has diligently followed its mission to enable U.S. companies to turn export opportunities into real sales. These sales, in turn, help maintain and create U.S. jobs which contribute to a strong national economy.”

In Fiscal Year 2011 alone, the Ex-Im Bank provided a record $32.7 billion in export financing (including an all-time high of $6 billion in export financing to small businesses) and supported $40.6 billion in export sales. All this work has been done while still returning a profit for taxpayers. Since 2005, $3.7 billion has been sent to the U.S. Treasury due to Ex-Im Bank profits, Cantwell said.

The letter sent today was signed by Senate Small Business Committee Chair Mary Landrieu (D-LA) as well as Senators John Kerry (D-MA), Joe Lieberman (I-CT), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Kay Hagan (D-NC), and Cantwell.

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