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Industry Urges House Panel to Reauthorize Ex-Im Bank

  • Supporters include House R’s and D’s, Chamber of Commerce, NAM, White House

June 24, 2014—The Nuclear Energy Institute, in written testimony to the House Financial Services Committee for a June 25 hearing on reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank of the United States, says the bank is “one of the most important tools available to promote U.S. nuclear energy exports to the large and growing global market.”

“When a U.S. supplier wins a major nuclear power plant tender, it establishes relationships that can endure for decades through the supply of fuel, equipment and services,” NEI President and CEO Marvin Fertel wrote.

“A strong and reliable Ex-Im Bank will enable U.S. nuclear energy suppliers to compete for and win international nuclear energy tenders, add billions of dollars of U.S. exports and tens of thousands of American jobs, and promote other U.S. national interests,” Fertel said.

Fertel separately is urging member companies to reach out to their Congressional representatives to communicate the importance of Ex-Im Bank for the nuclear energy industry.

The fight to reauthorize the bank intensified this week after House Majority Leader-Elect Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said Congress should let the Bank’s charter expire. Ideological groups including the Heritage Foundation and Americans for Prosperity are actively opposing reauthorization of the bank.

Meanwhile, other Congressional members are actively engaged in the effort to support the bank’s reauthorization by the Sept. 30 deadline. A letter from more than 40 Republican House members to McCarthy and House Speaker Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) offered their support.

House Democrats, led by Rep. Denny Heck (D-Wash.), have introduced legislation that would extend Ex-Im Bank’s charter for seven years with a lending cap up to $175 billion.

In addition, 865 businesses and organizations from across the country cosigned a joint letter from the National Association of Manufacturers and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce urging reauthorization of Ex-Im Bank before its charter expires.

President Obama’s Export Council recommends a 5-year reauthorization with a lending cap up to $160 billion.

“We urge you to push for the reauthorization of the Ex-Im as expeditiously as possible,” the Export Council says. “With some sixty other export credit agencies like Ex-Im Bank around the world aggressively supporting other countries’ exporters, we believe this agency that has supported an estimated 1.2 million U.S. jobs over the past five years while earning money for the taxpayers is a necessary tool to keep American businesses competitive.”

The hearing, “Examining Reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank: Corporate Necessity or Corporate Welfare?” will be webcast June 25 at 10:00 a.m. Witnesses include leaders from private industry, professional associations, academia and the federal government.