Cites local job creation success on bank whose charter expires on June 30
Congressman Brian Higgins, D-NY-26, spoke on the Floor of the House of Representatives calling for Congress to renew the charter for the Export-Import Bank, an agency with a mission of "supporting American jobs by facilitating the export of U.S. goods and services." The charter for the bank, first established in 1934, was last renewed by Congress in 2012 and is set to expire June 30.
Higgins discussed the bank's value to businesses across the nation and right here in Western New York, specifically citing the case of Midland Machinery in Tonawanda, whose owner, Barre Banks, has made a specific appeal to Higgins' office in support of extending the bank's charter:
"Congress is engaged in a vigorous debate about our national trade policy. But no matter where you stand on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Export-Import Bank is one trade program that we should all get behind.
"After all, this is a federal agency that operates at no cost to taxpayers, and whose sole purpose is to create jobs by helping American manufacturers increase exports.
"The Export-Import Bank provides loans to help American businesses compete against foreign companies that receive subsidies from their governments. And it provides credit to facilitate the sale of American goods abroad.
"Since 2009, the Export-Import Bank has helped dozens of businesses in Western New York export nearly $100 million in goods, and has helped create or sustain 1.3 million jobs across this nation.
"A number of local business leaders, including Barre Banks, the owner of Midland Machinery in Tonawanda, have reached out to my office to share their stories of success with the bank and warn against its expiration.
"I urge the majority to stand with American businesses, protect American jobs, and reauthorize the Export-Import Bank."
In November, Higgins joined Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand for a roundtable discussion in Niagara Falls with the president of the Export-Import Bank and Western New York business leaders. Higgins also is one of 180 members to sign a discharge petition in an effort to require House consideration of Export-Import Bank reauthorization.
The Export-Impact Bank does not compete with private banks, but serves as a lender to American companies looking to expand their reach when traditional banks are unable to take on the risk. The agency has a successful record of accomplishment, supporting $27.5 billion in U.S. exports in 2014, which returned $675 million back to the U.S. treasury last year alone.