Today, the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services hosted a hearing on the reauthorization of the U.S. Export-Import Bank. Steve Macias submitted the following testimony for the record, on behalf of the Arizona Manufacturers Council:
“Chairman Hensarling, Ranking Member Waters, and Members of the House Financial Services Committee:
As the House Financial Services Committee meets to discuss the impact of the U.S. Export-Import Bank, I want to share with you the impact it has on my small business, manufacturing in Arizona, and Arizona’s economy. In my roles as president of Pivot Manufacturing and the chairman of the Arizona Manufacturers Council I have seen firsthand the benefit the U.S. Export-Import Bank provides to businesses like mine across the state and the country. The Arizona Manufacturers Council within the Arizona Chamber is the state affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry is committed to advancing Arizona’s competitive position in the global economy by advocating free-market policies that stimulate economic growth and prosperity for all Arizonans.
The Ex-Im represents one of the few tools the U.S. has in its toolbox to make American-made goods more attractive on the international market. For 80 years, Congresses controlled by both parties have reauthorized the Bank. White Houses under Franklin Roosevelt to Ronald Reagan have supported a robust Ex-Im, with Reagan even lamenting in 1986 that there were too many constraints on the Bank’s lending ability. Today, leading business groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers have made reauthorization of Ex-Im their top priority.
And the Ex-Im helps small Arizona businesses like mine take part in foreign sales, both through financing used to purchase products from small business as well as funding large OEM sales that we support. Nearly 90 percent of Ex-Im’s transactions last year benefitted small businesses. Ex-Im transactions in support of small business exports have risen 36 percent since 2008, and every year during that period these deals have comprised 86 percent or more of total contracts.
When customers overseas don’t have access to commercial credit and if they don’t have access to Ex-Im financing, they’ll go looking elsewhere. There are plenty of other countries ready to fill the void of the Ex-Im with governments that subsidize industries and that have their own export financing agencies that can lend at levels far beyond those allowed by the Ex-Im. When customers buy products with help from other countries, U.S. businesses and jobs will lose out.
If American businesses’ access to customers around the world is blocked, then our economy will suffer. We’re finally turning the corner on the Great Recession and we don’t need any more circular firing squads; what we need is the Export-Import Bank to allow us to expand our economy and job growth.”