Companies say reviving Ex-Im Bank is key to billions in revenue

The Street (7/6, English), in an overview of the US Export-Import Bank and the possibility that Congress will reinstate its now-expired charter, notes a June letter the NAM and other business groups sent to lawmakers, “signed by 1,053 companies.” The story describes the Bank’s “demise” as “a significant loss for U.S. companies that rely on [it] to facilitate purchases from foreign customers who might not be able to get affordable financing elsewhere.” The Street cites “many in Congress” as well as Goldman Sachs Group analysts as predicting that the Bank’s charter “will be renewed when Congress votes on the highway bill at the end of this month.” NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons is quoted as saying at the time of the charter’s lapse that a few legislators had “caused America to wave the white flag in the battle to keep selling U.S. products overseas” and that they should “end the political games and revisit reality.”

The Connecticut Mirror (7/7, Radelat) says export companies in its home state have the support of “Connecticut’s all-Democratic congressional delegation,” which has “vowed to fight back this week” for Ex-Im charter reinstatement when Congress returns from its holiday break. The Mirror cites Rep. Elizabeth Esty as saying recently while visiting the Waterbury plant of Click Bond Inc., a maker of “fastening hardware and adhesive-bonding processes,” that the Bank is self-sustaining and “has supported nearly 20,000 jobs in Connecticut by backing about $4 billion in exports from the state.” The story goes on to note that Ex-Im supporters include leading Connecticut companies such as General Electric and Sikorsky Aircraft, which say the Bank “helps them remain competitive against foreign companies that are aided by their governments.”

The Hill (7/6, Cirilli), in its “Overnight Finance” fixture, assesses the chances for Ex-Im reinstatement, saying that “attention is turning toward the highway transportation bill, where lawmakers are expected to attach an amendment in the Senate that would reauthorize the bank.” The Hill adds that it’s “unclear” if the Bank’s detractors “will be able to thwart” supporters.

Rep. Knight Of California Does About-Face, Now Backs Bank Revival. The Los Angeles Times (7/7, Bierman) reports that, after months of appearing “on a prominent list of congressmen who opposed the Export-Import Bank,” Rep. Steve Knight (R-CA) has changed his position and now supports reauthorization of the lender. “If we allow the bank to close its doors, the families that I serve who rely on these businesses for their well-being would suffer immensely, and that is unacceptable,” the Times quoted Knight as writing on Monday in response to questions. “I acknowledge that reforms are necessary, but we can’t do that on a one-year basis and so I support reauthorization.” According to the Times, “Knight’s office had a hard time explaining the apparent flip-flop,” with a spokesman saying the Palmdale-based congressman “was still studying the issue” when he filled out a questionnaire in 2014 about his stance.