Manufacturers Urge Reauthorization of Export-Import Bank

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Manufacturers Urge Reauthorization of Export-Import Bank

Youngstown Business Journal – The Export-Import Bank, an independent federal  agency designed to help fund small businesses so they can gain a  foothold in foreign markets, is integral to Ohio’s economy and should be  reauthorized by Congress quickly, officials say.

“The  Export-Import Bank is an important supplier to Ohio manufacturers,” said  Eric Burkland, president of the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association. “It’s  broadly used.”

Burkland joined U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio,  and Fred Hochberg, president of the Export-Import Bank, on a conference  call with reporters Wednesday and urged Congress to reauthorize the  agency’s lending authority, which expires May 31.

Companies in  Ohio use the bank for additional financing that is directed toward  supporting its exporting power, Burkland said. In particular, companies  such as Summitville Tiles in Columbiana County use the bank to insure  its foreign receivables, thereby allowing the company to secure  additional liquidity through lines of credit with its lender.

Summitville,  which has 200 employees at various locations in Columbiana County,  manufactures ceramic tile and exports its products . For example,  Summitville manufactures all the floor tiles found at any KFC restaurant  around the world, Burkland said.

“Summitville uses Ex-Im’s  foreign credit insurance program to insure foreign receivables,”  Burkland said. “It allows the company to include outstanding foreign  receivables on its borrowing base for its U.S. lending bank,” he said.

Other  manufacturers across the state rely on the bank for other important  financial mechanisms such as working capital guarantees, he said.

The  Export-Import Bank’s Hochberg stated that Ohio remains a hot spot for  export growth. “Since 2009, our support for Ohio business is up 125%,”  more than double the national average of 60%, he reported.

“Our role is to level the playing field to create jobs here,” Hochberg said. “Good, middle-class jobs.”

The  bank is fully funded by service fees and interest payments from  participating companies, so no taxpayer dollars are ever put at risk,  Hochberg said. “It’s a key way of generating job growth at no cost to  the taxpayer,” he said.

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