June 26, 2014
By Stephanie West
Washington, DC — The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) is urging its 600,000 members to oppose efforts to defund the U.S. Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank, the independent federal agency that provides critical loan guarantees and supports more than 200,000 U.S. jobs. The bank has become the latest target for extinction by the GOP’s right-wing ideologues in the U.S. House of Representatives.
“We are dismayed by the spurious objections from the Ex-Im Bank’s opponents,” said IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger in a June 24 letter to key members of Congress. “We can only conclude that opposition to a highly successful government program that provides valuable financing for the purchase of U.S.-made products, and helps to reduce both the trade and federal deficits without cost to the taxpayer, can only be based on ideological grounds.”
Ex-Im Bank loan guarantees create U.S. jobs by helping foreign companies buy American-made products, like Boeing aircraft and John Deere tractors. In 2013, the credit agency provided more than $37 billion worth of export financing and returned over $1 billion to the U.S. Treasury.
“Without Ex-Im Bank financing, the U.S. aerospace industry will be at a severe disadvantage as European and non-European competitors would continue supporting their companies through their comprehensive industrial policies,” said Buffenbarger. “Lastly, as China’s export credit agency grows dramatically, why would we want to eliminate one of the only effective tools the U.S. has to compete with China?”
IAM members across the U.S. are being urged to contact their representatives and call for full Ex-Im reauthorization with its exposure cap at adequate levels, and without damaging language that could lead to weakening domestic content requirements.