President Barack Obama added his voice in the fight before Congress to renew the charter for the U.S. Export-Import Bank.
According to an article by David Jackson of USA Today published on July 22, the President noted other countries have similar style financial institutions for the export of their goods and that the United States “cannot unilaterally disarm.”
Congress allowed the charter for the Ex-Im Bank to expire at the end of June. While the bank remains open, it cannot conduct its primary business – backing low-interest loans for the export of U.S.-made products and goods.
The MTD is a strong supporter of the Ex-Im Bank. Cargo generated by the bank must be transported aboard U.S.-crewed, U.S.-flag vessels. Throughout this month, Port Maritime Councils across the U.S. have been contacting their senators and representatives to urge a vote to renew the charter.
Support for the Ex-Im Bank is bipartisan. However, efforts to renew the charter are being led by some elected officials who claim the bank is corporate welfare and a drain on the treasury.
The President countered both arguments during a White House conference with elected officials and business people who have been aided by the bank. While some large companies do benefit from working with the bank, so do many small firms, he told the audience. “The Export-Import Bank makes money for the U.S. government,” the article quotes him as saying.
“I just want to be clear about this: This is not a situation in which taxpayers are subsidizing these companies,” President Obama stated in the story.
Records show the Ex-Im Bank last year supported 164,000 American private-sector jobs. Nearly 90 percent of its transactions went to small businesses. It supported $27.5 billion in U.S. exports at no cost to U.S. taxpayers. It has helped reduce the nation’s deficit by generating $7 billion for the U.S. Treasury during the last several years.
The bank, which was created in 1934, can continue functioning for about three months without a charter renewal. Approximately 60 countries have similar institutions to promote their goods globally.