Kildee, Chamber of Commerce Hold Small Business Roundtable Focused on Supporting Good-Paying Jobs and Boosting Exports
‘Michigan Jobs At Risk’ if Congress Fails to Reauthorize Expired Export Funding for Local-Area Businesses, Kildee Says
Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05) today, along with the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce, hosted an export roundtable with various mid-Michigan businesses at Mott Regional Technology Center. The roundtable discussion focused on ways that Congress can act to promote small businesses and boost exports, including reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank. The Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im) is a critical tool that helps Michigan businesses with financing in order to succeed and grow their exports around the globe. Over the last six years, Ex-Im has financed the sale of more than $200 billion in U.S. exports and supports over a million private sector jobs, including 59,693 jobs in Michigan. While Ex-Im has historically had strong bipartisan support, and has previously been reauthorized 16 times, the Republican-led Congress let the bank’s charter expire on July 1st for the first time in the bank’s 81-year history. As a result, the bank cannot currently engage in new business. “It was great meeting with Michigan business owners and the Chamber of Commerce to discuss ways the federal government can act to create jobs and boost our exports. One action Congress can immediately take is to bring up legislation I’ve supported to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank,” Congressman Kildee said. “Michigan jobs are at risk if the Export-Import Bank is shuttered. The Bank supports over a million U.S. jobs and thousands of small businesses across the country. Sadly the bank’s reauthorization has become a victim of Washington’s partisan gridlock, and it’s Michigan’s businesses and workers who stand to lose if it’s not reauthorized. Failing to support the Export-Import Bank has already hurt our country’s competitiveness, raised the federal deficit and threatened good-paying jobs right here at home.” Nearly every developed country and major emerging economy has an export credit agency. Eighty-five other countries – including China – all have credit agencies to help boost exports and support jobs. However, because Ex-Im was allowed to expire, the U.S. is currently not one of these countries. “Letting the bank’s charter expire puts American businesses and American workers at a disadvantage. Make no mistake, it’s China and other foreign rivals who will fill the void if Congress doesn’t act to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank,” Congressman Kildee continued. A wide bipartisan coalition of business organizations support the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers and the National Small Business Association. “Today, we heard from businesses and entrepreneurs from Flint and Genesee County who are looking for assistance in growing export sales that help support local businesses and jobs in our community,” said Kyle McCree, Director of Business Financing for the Flint & Genesee Chamber. “We need continued support from our state and federal partners to give businesses the tools they need to grow export sales.” About 90 percent of Ex-Im’s transactions last year benefited small businesses, including mid-Michigan businesses who receive financing through the bank such as Amigo Mobility International in Bridgeport, Atlas Technologies in Fenton, B&P Process Equipment and Systems in Saginaw, Genova Products in Davison, Murphy Water Well Bits in Davison and Ronald A. Chisolm USA in Linden. The last reauthorization of Ex-Im, in 2012, passed with 330 votes in the House and 78 votes in the Senate. About 60 percent of Republicans in both the House and Senate and all Democrats voted for Ex-Im. Congressman Kildee is a cosponsor of H.R. 1031, the Promoting U.S. Jobs Through Exports Act of 2015, which would reauthorize the Bank through 2022.