Clock is Ticking on Export-Import Bank Reauthorization

Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce  Sept. 22, 2014

Arizonans are hard at work — doing, creating, building and developing. The business community and community leaders are redefining and reshaping the state’s economy through tax reform, research and development grants and business retention and expansion programs.

In less than 30 days, a key component of Arizona’s economy and growth potential — a very sharp tool in our toolbox — will be eliminated if Congress fails to act. Without Congressional action, the Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank — a government agency that helps finance foreign sales of U.S. goods and services — will no longer be authorized to operate and aid American businesses and employers. The shut-down of the Ex-Im Bank would negatively impact the Arizona Comeback we have all worked diligently to advance.

In the past seven years, the Ex-Im Bank has supported roughly $658 million of exports from companies in Arizona to countries such as Australia, Mexico and India. Currently, the Ex-Im Bank assists 117 Arizona companies — 93 of them small businesses — to access these foreign markets. The Ex-Im Bank’s core mission is to facilitate business growth and create American jobs by helping companies of all sizes see the growth potential of exporting goods and services. It encourages companies to look beyond their current business model and expand into the global marketplace, and can provide small businesses the assistance and guidance needed when they choose to transition into the export market.

The Ex-Im Bank works hard for small businesses, providing them with certainty and protection that allows business owners to enter new markets, expand operations and create jobs. In 2013,  Ex-Im supported 3,413 small business transactions worth $11.7 billion. In the past five years, it financed more small business transactions than in the previous 11 years combined.

If business leaders and community members fail to rally Congress to reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank, our state and nation will be at a competitive disadvantage in the global marketplace. As a part of the Arizona Comeback, employers and innovators have made great strides in advancing our state’s economy. Now is not the time to hinder growth.

 Now is the time to encourage business owners — big and small — to look beyond their current business expansion model and expand into global markets. Now is the time to support American businesses and American jobs. Now is the time to support the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank. —Chad Heinrich, Vice President of Public Affairs, Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce

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