Senator Kirk, Export-Import Bank Chairman and President Hochberg Express Importance of Bank Reauthorization to Keep Illinois Businesses on a Level Playing Field

Competition from Abroad Threatens U.S. Exports; Bank Currently Supports More than 205,000 American Jobs

CHICAGO–(ENEWSPF)–August 19, 2014.  U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Export-Import Bank Chairman and President Fred Hochberg today hosted a business roundtable in Chicago, a Global Access Forum discussion at Northern Illinois University, and a tour of UTC Aerospace Systems in Rockford to emphasize and discuss the importance of reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank. UTC Aerospace Systems is a local Rockford small business and exporter that is one of the world’s largest suppliers of technologically advanced aerospace and defense products.

The Bank’s authorization currently expires September 30th. Senator Kirk, along with Senators Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Banking Chairman Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) and Tim Kaine (D-Va.) introduced legislation to reauthorize the bank this past July. The Export-Import Bank supports more than 205,000 American jobs per year.

“I asked the Chairman to come to Illinois and make these visits with me today to spread word on the importance of the Export-Import Bank to Illinois jobs and businesses, because I am pro-Chicago, pro-Rockford, pro-Peoria, and pro-Illinois,” Senator Kirk said. “With no cost to the taxpayer, the Export-Import Bank has supported 244 Illinois businesses since 2007 and returned more than $1 billion to the Treasury in 2013. I thank Chairman Hochberg for visiting with Illinois businesses today and look forward to a swift reauthorization this fall.”

“Today Senator Kirk and I had a wonderful opportunity to meet with small-business exporters in the Rockford area and let them know how the Export Import Bank can help them to increase their sales abroad and create jobs here in Illinois,” said Export-Import Bank Chairman and President Fred Hochberg. “This is Ex-Im Bank’s specialty. Last year alone, we equipped 149 Illinois businesses to export goods and services worth more than $857 million, and we look forward to supporting more Illinois companies as they sell beyond our borders, grow their operations and create jobs in the years ahead.”

Chairman Hochberg shared the stories of Illinois businesses like Mathews Company from Crystal Lake and BLS Enterprises from Bensenville that have benefitted greatly from the Bank’s support to expand their sales and customer outreach. Mathews Company, a grain dryer manfacturing company, said that they would have not received the level of business that they do now without the Bank’s support. BLS Enterprises supplies durable parts for construction equipment, and was able to expand their exports to new markets thanks to the Bank’s involvement.

The Export-Import Bank reauthorization legislation introduced by Senator Kirk would increase the Bank’s spending authority to $160 billion from the current level of $140 billion over a four-year period if it meets specific reporting requirements. The reauthorization would last through 2019. It would also require the Bank to submit reports to Congress detailing its business plan and risk exposure, and ensure the Bank’s loan-loss ratio is less than two percent for any quarter in that fiscal year.

The Bank operates at no cost to taxpayers – and in 2013, the Bank approved a record-high 3,413 small-business authorizations and helped to enable $37.4 billion in U.S. exports worldwide. In Illinois, the top exporters supported by the Bank are Caterpillar, CNH Industrial America, and John Deere.

Source: kirk.senate.gov