Opinion: Congress must reauthorize the Export-Import Bank


Almost 80 years ago, my father founded the MooreCompany, which built and sold the largest commercial cooling fan in the United States and made significant contributions to America’s manufacturing capabilities during the Second World War. In 1948, my father moved Moore Fans to Marceline and opened up a 15,000 square foot factory.  

Today, that factory has grown to 130,000 square feet and employs more than 75 manufacturing workers. Twenty-five percent of our sales are to foreign customers in Europe, the Middle East, Korea, and India. We can export American-made products around the world, thanks in large part to the U.S. Export-Import Bank (EXIM).

The EXIM Bank helps level the global playing field for American manufacturers by providing loans, loan guarantees, and insurance to export American-made products when commercial banks can’t or won’t provide the same financing.

In just the last decade, the EXIM Bank has provided financing for American manufacturers to sell their products to international buyers in more than 200 countries across six continents. These loans have supported more than 1.7 million American jobs and spurred more than $290 billion in American exports.

More than 90 percent of all EXIM transactions in recent years have gone to support small- and medium-sized American businesses. In 2016, the Bank approved an astounding 2,600 small-business deals. These deals have made American taxpayers money. Since 1992, the EXIM Bank has helped to reduce the federal deficit by more than $9.6 billion.

Despite being a win-win, EXIM’s charter will expire on September 30th unless Congress acts. Without EXIM, many American businesses can’t compete against foreign businesses from countries like China that provide state subsidies and financing for exports.

There are currently more than 100 export credit agencies around the world subsidizing foreign companies that compete against American businesses. China alone offers more than $130 billion in credit and trade-related financing to bolster its exports. Without loan guarantees from EXIM, small businesses like ours will struggle to find loans from private sector lenders.

Earlier this year, we joined the Coalition for U.S. Jobs to push Congress to reauthorize EXIM. We are partnering with more than 30 small, medium, and large U.S. businesses to ensure that American-made products and workers stay competitive in the global economy.

Thankfully, Senator Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) has co-sponsored bipartisan legislation with 10 of his colleagues to reauthorize the EXIM Bank. Senate Bill 2293, which was introduced in July by Senators Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), reauthorizes EXIM for 10 years so American businesses don’t lose out to foreign competitors on deals abroad.

Reauthorizing the EXIM Bank by the September 30th deadline should be a no-brainer for politicians in Washington. At a time when national politics is mired in partisan bickering, I applaud Senator Blunt for working across the aisle to help small businesses in Missouri and across America compete in the global economy.

If Congress fails to reauthorize the EXIM Bank, small businesses like Moore Fans will be put at a major disadvantage, hurting American workers and benefiting our foreign competitors.

– John Moore is the President and CEO of Moore Fans, which is based in Marceline, Missouri, an industry leader in the development of high-efficiency, axial flow fans since 1940.

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