October 5, 2023

House Leaders Hold Export-Import Bank Hostage

import-export bank
Posted for Congressman Steny Hoyer


Today, General Electric Co. announced that it will send approximately 500 American jobs overseas, following House leaders’ decision to shut down the Export-Import Bank earlier this summer. Even though the majority of Congress supports the Bank, Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader McCarthy have no plans to schedule a vote to reopen the Bank and support American job growth here at home:

From the Wall Street Journal:

General Electric Co. will move around 500 U.S. jobs overseas to avoid losing business to foreign rivals, a decision the company said was prompted by the lapse of the U.S. Export-Import Bank earlier this summer.”

“GE said Tuesday it had signed an agreement for a line of credit for certain power projects from France’s export credit agency, Compagnie Française d’Assurance pour le Commerce Extérieur, or Coface, which would result in 400 jobs moving to Europe, primarily from facilities in New York, Texas, South Carolina and Maine.”

It said another 100 jobs would be moved next year from a facility outside Houston to Hungary and China to access export credit for customers of gas turbines used in aviation.”

“Executives say that the company is bidding on $11 billion worth of projects, mostly in developing nations, and that bids won’t be entertained if they aren’t sponsored by an export credit agency.”

“‘In a competitive world, we are left with no choice but to invest in non-U.S. manufacturing and move production to countries that support high-tech exports,’ said John Rice, vice chairman at GE, in a statement on Tuesday.”

“Mr. Rice said that the company had ‘done everything in our power to avoid making these moves at all, but Congress left us no choice when it failed to reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank this summer.’”

“The 81-year-old agency stopped accepting new loans at the beginning of July after Congress allowed its charter to expire. In July, some 64 senators voted for an amendment to reopen the bank, but conservative Republicans who control key leadership positions have so far prevented a vote in the House of Representatives.”

General Electric joins Boeing in their calls on Republican leadership to put partisan politics aside and do what’s best for American workers and businesses. In July, Boeing also discussed the possibility of needing to move jobs abroad in order to compete in the global marketplace without financial assistance from the Export-Import Bank:

From Reuters:

Boeing Co (BA.N) Chairman Jim McNerney on Wednesday said the aircraft maker is actively looking at moving ‘key pieces’ of its operations to other countries given uncertainty about the future of the Export-Import Bank, whose charter expired on June 30.”

“‘We are now forced to think about this differently,’ McNerney told hundreds of executives and diplomats during an interview hosted by the Economic Club of Washington.”

“McNerney, who retired as the company’s chief executive on July 1, said Boeing might consider sites in countries that offer export credits…”

Uncertainty about the availability of export credits is already weighing on sales of a range of Boeing products, including commercial satellites, according to sources familiar with the situation who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the business negotiations.”

McNerney’s comments reflect U.S. industry’s growing frustration about deep partisan divides that have paralyzed Congress since the rise of the right-wing Tea Party in 2010McNerney said he was more worried than ever that Congress could fail to reauthorize the bank, given what he called the ‘very, very frustrating’ refusal of a small minority of lawmakers to accept majority congressional support for the bank.”

WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) joined with Financial Services Committee Ranking Member Maxine Waters (CA-43), Monetary Policy and Trade Subcommittee Ranking Member Gwen Moore (WI-04), and Representative Denny Heck (WA-10) today to send a letter to Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, urging them to immediately put a bill on the Floor to reopen the Export-Import Bank so it can continue to support U.S. job growth and strengthen our economic competiveness. The letter notes the negative impact the shutdown of the Bank has had on American businesses, including General Electric, which announced today that it is moving 500 jobs overseas.

Source: Office of the Democratic Whip.

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