Economic Development in the Houston Bay Area
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BAHEP supports reauthorization of Ex-Im Bank of the United States


    The mention of the term Export-Import Bank of the United States sends most people to their computers to do a Google search. What is the purpose of the Bank, and why is its impending reauthorization important to Houston and the nation?
    When Googling the Bank’s website, researchers learn that the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) is the official export credit agency of the United States. Ex-Im Bank’s mission is to assist in financing the export of U.S. goods and services to international markets. Ex-Im Bank enables U.S. companies — large and small — to turn export opportunities into real sales that help to maintain and create U.S. jobs and contribute to a stronger national economy.
    Ex-Im Bank does not compete with private sector lenders but provides export financing products that fill gaps in trade financing. The Bank also helps to level the playing field for U.S. exporters by matching the financing that other governments provide to their exporters.
    Ex-Im Bank provides working capital guarantees (pre-export financing); export credit insurance; and loan guarantees and direct loans (buyer financing). On average, more than 85 percent of the Bank’s transactions directly benefit U.S. small businesses.
    Since its founding in 1934, Ex-Im Bank has supported more than $600 billion of U.S. exports, primarily to developing markets worldwide.
    As a government agency, the Bank is subject to reauthorization. Its current authorization expires Sept. 30. Many major business organizations support a long-term reauthorization for the Ex-Im Bank. The Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership joins them in support for this important initiative.
    Brenda Hellyer, Ed.D., chair of BAHEP’s Board of Directors and chancellor, San Jacinto College District, said, “The U.S. Export-Import Bank supports billions of U.S. exports and hundreds of thousands of export-related U.S. jobs each year. The Ex-Im Bank not only covers all of its operating expenses, it also earns a profit for American taxpayers and reduces the annual deficit. It would be difficult to generate the $1.1 billion returned to the U.S. Treasury in 2013 through other government sources.  In addition, if the Ex-Im Bank were not reauthorized,  the impact on small businesses in the Houston area would be a set back to our growing economy.”
    BAHEP President Bob Mitchell stated, “Our region exported $110 billion of goods in 2012 and surpassed New York in 2013 as the number one U.S. market for exports. Texas has the most exporters by far that use the Ex-Im Bank. Small businesses cannot afford to lose the kind of financial services that Ex-Im Bank provides, and the nation cannot afford to lose any of nearly 290,000 export related jobs.”

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