Dozens of companies in the Capital Region that export their products overseas would be hurt if the Export-Import Bank charter is not renewed before it expires this September, said U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer on Monday.
Products like the steam turbines and generators manufactured at General Electric’s Schenectady plant are easier for foreign companies to purchase because of the Ex-Im Bank, he said before a crowd of GE officials and media on the floor of the plant Monday afternoon.
The bank was created by President Franklin Roosevelt as part of the New Deal in 1934. It provides loans and guarantees to facilitate U.S. exports. Last year, it supported $37 billion worth of exports and generated a $1 billion surplus for the U.S. Treasury. Though it’s operated for 80 years without much controversy, a key group of Republican representatives have recently come out against renewing the bank’s charter, calling the agency an example of the government providing money where it shouldn’t and interfering with the free market.
“The Ex-Im Bank is one of the key tools we have in our toolbox for supporting and growing manufacturing jobs in the Capital Region and across New York state, which is why letting the bank expire is simply not an option,” said Schumer. “Dozens of companies throughout the Capital Region — small, medium and large — directly or indirectly benefit from the Ex-Im Bank and employ thousands of people as a result. Extending the Ex-Im Bank’s charter will reassure these businesses that the federal government is on their side and make it clear that we will do all we can to help level the playing field for doing business abroad so these companies can support manufacturing jobs back home.”
Of the 270 businesses in New York that directly benefit from the bank, 15 are in the Capital Region and seven of those are small businesses. The bank has supported $6 billion in New York exports over the last five years, including $1 billion in the Capital Region. Outside of New York City, the bank supports more exports in this region than anywhere else in the state.
“Many people in the Capital Region have never even heard of the Ex-Im Bank, but it is vitally important to companies from General Electric to Ross Valve and even to Imperial Pools,” said Center for Economic Growth President and CEO F. Michael Tucker. “So many of the companies that we know and rely on to provide jobs here in the region depend on the Ex-Im Bank, so I truly appreciate Sen. Schumer’s efforts to re-authorize it, because failure to do so would put Capital Region businesses at a competitive disadvantage with companies across the globe.”
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