Ex-Im Nominees will yield American jobs

Today, U.S. industries are in constant competition with international counterparts, competing in the global marketplace every day to ensure American companies remain the premier global trading partner.   For the Aerospace Industries Association and our over 330 members from across aerospace and defense, we believe we must do all we can to promote American businesses and create an environment where American manufacturing can thrive as part of our larger effort to renew American leadership in global trade.

An essential part of creating that environment is to level the playing field our industry is competing on, which is why today the AIA is urging the Trump Administration to identify and send nominees for the U.S. Export-Import Bank’s Board of Directors to the Senate.

The Ex-Im Bank stands as a government export credit agency, assisting companies large and small across our supply chain to remain competitive in a challenging global marketplace.  In its work, the Bank requires a quorum of three members on its five-member Board to approve export financing for transactions worth over $10 million. Without new nominees, that quorum is unachievable, and so are our industry’s goals of sustaining the nation’s security, leading technological innovation, and contributing to America’s economic prosperity and global leadership, all with a thriving and innovative workforce 1.7 million people strong.

Today, forty deals worth $30 billion of U.S. manufactured exports are languishing until additional directors are appointed to the Bank’s Board.  Those languishing deals mean languishing business; the lack of quorum is hampering our industry’s ability to build on a track record of success in generating a trade surplus ($90 billion in 2016) and growing our high-skill, high wage American workforce.

As I wrote in The Hill on March 7, and as Click Bond CEO Karl Hutter echoed in the Nevada Appeal on March 25, small and medium-sized companies in the aerospace supply chain are significant beneficiaries when the Bank steps in to support large sales of aerospace systems that cannot otherwise be financed by the private sector. But they also bear the consequences when U.S. aerospace exports cannot compete in the global market absent access to export credit agency support like their foreign competitors receive.

We urge President Trump to move forward on nominees to the Bank’s Board to ensure our nation’s aerospace exporters can continue to compete and win around the world.  In an era of narrow margins and political debate, fewer and fewer issues come with bipartisan support.  Yet, nominating and confirming Ex-Im Directors is one of those rare, widely-supported issues, because it supports jobs and growth here at home.  And that is a cause we can all support.

As we stated in a letter to the Administration signed by over 100 senior leaders from small, medium, and large companies across our industry, “We know that when American aerospace and defense companies can compete on a level playing field, we will win every time.”