AIA Welcomes President Trump’s Announcement of Nominees to Ex-Im Bank Board of Directors

Statement by AIA President and CEO David F. Melcher on President Trump’s announcement naming former Congressmen Scott Garrett and Spencer Bachus as nominees to the Export-Import Bank Board of Directors.

Arlington, Va. — The Aerospace Industries Association welcomes President Trump’s announcement Friday naming former Congressmen Scott Garrett and Spencer Bachus as nominees to the Export-Import Bank Board of Directors. This is a crucial next step to restoring a quorum on the Bank’s Board so it can approve transactions larger than $10 million and restore American export competitiveness in the global marketplace.

Without a quorum of Directors in place, the Ex-Im Bank reported it was only able to authorize $5 billion in financing last year – a quarter of its financing activity when it was last fully operational in 2014, and its lowest level in 40 years. Financing for satellite and launch services dropped from close to $1 billion in 2014 to $4 million in 2015. The Bank currently has a backlog of 40 deals worth more than $30 billion that it cannot process. Ex-Im Bank activity in 2016 can be connected to the direct support of 52,000 jobs and $284 million in interest and fees from foreign customers sent to the U.S. Treasury – but those numbers could have been much higher.

Ex-Im Bank support is available to all American exporters when the private sector does not have the capacity to provide financing. It doesn’t provide an advantage to our companies – rather it offsets the advantage that our foreign competitors have with export financing from 60 foreign government-backed export credit agencies. Ex-Im Bank support is critical for U.S. exporters in the aerospace and defense industry – both large companies and their small and medium suppliers. With a level playing field, we can compete and win based on the quality of our products and services rather than financing.

AIA has long been a champion of Ex-Im Bank, and eagerly looks forward to the opportunities a fully functional bank will open for our industry. Aerospace and defense generated $146 billion in exports last year – 10% of all U.S. exports – creating a trade surplus of $90 billion. About 56% of that surplus can be attributed to the contributions of companies of all sizes in the supply chain. We look forward to working with the administration and Congress to realize our industry’s full potential to grow American exports and create thousands of high-skill, high wage American jobs.