NSBA Joins Senators for Call on Ex-Im Bank

On Tuesday, July 1, NSBA VP for Government Affairs Jody Milanese joined Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) on a widely-attended press call urging lawmakers to support reauthorization for the Export-Import Bank of the U.S. (Ex-Im Bank). Also on the call were two small-business exporters who utilize the valuable programs at Ex-Im Bank, Howard Dahl of Amity Technology in North Dakota and Rick Burke of Measurement Technology NW in Washington.

In her comments, Milanese outlined how Ex-Im Bank truly helps the small exporters compete in global markets and cited a recent exporting survey conducted by NSBA and its international arm, the Small Business Exporters Association which shows that 79 percent of small exporters have some level of concern over receiving payment from a foreign customer.

Underscoring Ex-Im Bank’s importance to the overall U.S. economy, Milanese stated that, “Not only does Ex-Im help create and sustain jobs here at home, but because Ex-Im charges fees for its loan guarantees and other services, it makes money. In each of the last two years, Ex-Im contributed $1 billion to the U.S. Treasury.”

Echoing the concerns raised by Sens. Cantwell, Schumer and Heitkamp on behalf of their small-business constituents, Milanese stated that getting paid is a significant concern for exporters, ranked as the most significant challenge they face. She went on to state that the average small-business exporter reports spending approximately 8.4 percent of their annual operating revenue on preparing to export. To put that in context, the average S-Corp reports spending 11.1 percent of their annual operating revenue on salaries and wages, according to the most recent information available from the IRS.

The Senators on the call expressed their support of bringing a bill to the floor sometime in July, with Sen. Schumer outlining his hope that there would be bipartisan support to get a bill to the floor before the August recess.

Urging lawmakers to address Ex-Im reauthorization in the near-term, Milanese stated that Ex-Im Bank receives very high ratings among those small-business exporters who utilize its products. That, coupled with the reality that there are many countries in which the only way to do business is through Ex-Im payment enhancements, explains why a good number of exporting companies report utilizing Ex-Im Bank for more than 10 years.

In closing, Milanese stated that, “A lapse in Ex-Im authorization would threaten the competitiveness of businesses in the U.S., particularly the thousands of small and medium-sized enterprises that depend on the Ex-Im Bank to reach new markets.”

Please click here to read NSBA’s Issue  Brief in support of Ex-Im Bank.

Please click here to download and listen to the audio of this call.