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Governor LePage, Governors Renew Call for Congress to Reauthorize Export-Import Bank

April 14, 2015

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage and a bipartisan majority of the nation’s governors sent a letter today to congressional leaders to urge the long-term reauthorization of the U.S. Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank. Last year, Congress extended the Ex-Im Bank’s charter until June 30, 2015, following a similar call from governors, businesses, and other supporters.

The governors wrote collectively that “the Ex-Im Bank is a crucial tool that both small and large businesses use to compete fairly in the world market, increase their exports, stimulate job creation, and contribute to the growth of our states’ economies… “Failure to act will place American industries at a significant disadvantage in the global marketplace and harm businesses in our states. We strongly encourage you to pass a long-term reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank.”

The Ex-Im Bank is the official credit export agency of the United States, charged with assisting in financing the export of American goods and services. More than 90 percent of U.S. exports are privately financed. But in many cases private lenders are unable or unwilling to take on credit risks or enter unfamiliar markets. In those cases, Ex-Im can provide loans, loan guarantees, or insurance to worthy businesses to promote exports and assist growth.

In 2014 alone, Ex-Im financed approximately $27 billion in exports and supported approximately 160,000 American jobs. The governors noted that financing from the bank allows American businesses to compete fairly against foreign competitors who receive trade financing from their national export credit agencies.

In addition to the 28 governors who signed the Bentley-Inslee letter, governors and state leaders from at least three other states have recently written individual letters to congressional leaders requesting action to reauthorize the bank, bringing the number of governors publicly supporting reauthorization to more than thirty. The text of the governors’ letter sent today to the leaders of the U.S. House and Senate:

“Dear Speaker Boehner, Leader McConnell, Leader Pelosi and Leader Reid:

As governors of states whose economies and workforces depend on exports, we strongly urge you to support legislation that provides for the long-term reauthorization of the U.S. Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im Bank) before its charter expires on June 30, 2015. The Ex-Im Bank is a crucial tool that both small and large businesses use to compete fairly in the world market, increase their exports, stimulate job creation, and contribute to the growth of our states’ economies.

As the official export credit agency of the United States, the Ex-Im Bank assumes the credit and country risks that private sector lenders are unable or unwilling to accept, and without it, U.S. firms would lose many sales to overseas competitors. The Ex-Im Bank allows our companies and workers to compete on a level playing field against international competitors who receive extensive support from their own export credit agencies.

As the economies of our states continue to grow, the Ex-Im Bank is currently playing a vital role in promoting exports and jobs. In federal fiscal year 2014, the Ex-Im Bank supplied more than $20 billion in financing to support approximately $27 billion in exports. In that same fiscal year, the Ex-Im Bank supported more than 160,000 American jobs. And the overwhelming majority of the Ex-Im Bank’s transactions – nearly 90 percent – assisted small businesses.

In a tight federal fiscal environment, we are encouraged that the Ex-Im Bank is financially self-sustaining, and operates at no cost to hard-working American taxpayers. In fact, in fiscal year 2014 alone, the Ex-Im Bank returned approximately $675 million in deficit-reducing receipts to the U.S. Treasury.

Last year, an overwhelming majority of the nation’s governors urged Congress to reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank. While we appreciate that Congress extended the Bank’s charter until June 30, 2015, it is essential that both chambers act again, this time to pass a long-term, multi-year reauthorization, before that deadline. We also welcome opportunities to continue to reform and improve the Ex-Im Bank moving forward. Failure to act will place American industries at a significant disadvantage in the global marketplace and harm businesses in our states.

We strongly encourage you to pass a long-term reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank. Thank you for your consideration and your leadership as we work together to increase job opportunities in our states and grow our national economy.

Sincerely,

Governor Robert Bentley, Alabama
Governor Jay Inslee, Washington Governor Bill Walker, Alaska
Governor Edmund G. Brown, California Governor John Hickenlooper, Colorado
Governor Dannel P. Malloy, Connecticut Governor Jack Markell, Delaware
Governor Eddie Baza Calvo, Guam Governor David Ige, Hawaii
Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter, Idaho Governor Steven L. Beshear, Kentucky
Governor Paul LePage, Maine Governor Charlie Baker, Massachusetts
Governor Mark Dayton, Minnesota Governor Steve Bullock, Montana
Governor Brian Sandoval, Nevada Governor Maggie Hassan, New Hampshire
Governor Susana Martinez, New Mexico Governor Mary Fallin, Oklahoma
Governor Kate Brown, Oregon Governor Tom Wolf, Pennsylvania
Governor Alejandro Javier Garcia Padilla, Puerto Rico Governor Gina Raimondo, Rhode Island
Governor Nikki R. Haley, South Carolina Governor Dennis Daugaard, South Dakota
Governor Peter Shumlin, Vermont Governor Terry McAuliffe, Virginia
Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, West Virginia”

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