After prolonged debate about whether or not Congress should or would revive the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im), a five-year highway bill that includes the measure awaits President Barack Obama signature today. Both the Senate and House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved this bill, voting 83 to 16 and 359 to 65, respectively.
The U.S. export community desperately needs the re-authorization of the Ex-Im Bank, said NACM Economist Chris Kuehl, Ph.D. Otherwise, the export industry will have trouble competing with the strong U.S. dollar and economic slowdown from competing nations. “The burst of cooperation seems to be motivated by a united front in business that made the case that it was not going to be able to contribute to an economic recovery without some real help and a change in political attitude,” Kuehl said.
The Ex-Im Bank enables companies to sell products to foreign-based buyers that otherwise have insufficient borrowing options. Supporters say that if left unfunded, U.S. companies may need to move operations another country. Opponents, however, claimed the program amounts to some sort of corporate welfare.
- Jennifer Lehman, NACM marketing and communications associate