Posts tagged: Export-Import Bank
I'm not much surprised to learn that Ed Schweitzer, founder and president of Schweitzer Engineering Labs in Pullman, doesn't like the idea of the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im).
The issue of late has become a contest between some conservative lawmakers who see the program, which offers insurance to protect American companies doing overseas business, as outdated and unneeded, and others who say the program is useful and beneficial to the economy.
Schweitzer is a true conservative and has a valid concern about Ex-Im. He expressed those concerns, succinctly, in a recent letter to the editor of The Spokesman-Review.
To read the SR's blog Spin Control summary of the Schweitzer position on Ex-Im, here's your link.
A number of Washington Congressional representatives spent time Tuesday pushing forward the Senate bill that reauthorized the Export-Import Bank. The final vote of 78-20 was a victory for Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., who's been a major proponent of the bill.
If not passed, the the Ex-Im authorization would have expired on May 31.
The bill also increased the bank's financing authority to $140 billion by 2014.
Cantwell, who is running for another six-year term, toured Eastern Washington last month and spent time speaking about the value of the bank, which underwrites U.S. companiesexports to foreign customers.
We covered that visit with this report.
In the Senate vote, Idaho's two Republican senators Jim Risch and Mike Crapo voted against.
The next step is having the bill signed by President Obama.
The Senate vote followed last week's passage in the House of HR 2072, the formal reauthorization bill.
The House vote was a whopping 330 in favor, 93 opposed. Only one Northwest House member voted “nay” on the reauthorization.
And that was Idaho's Rep. Raul Labrador. Every other Northwest Republican voted in favor.
Is Spokane County very dependent on exporting its products?
That's a subjective call. Today's story on Sen. Maria Cantwell's (D-Wash) visit to Spokane to boost support for reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank, raised the question of how many jobs depend on exports.
The numbers are a bit slippery. As Stan Key of Greater Spokane Inc. noted during Cantwell's visit, the actual totals on exports are registered at the port of departure. For many Spokane firms, that means their numbers fall into those seen for Seattle, Tacoma and Portland.
Key said he did a quick general survey of Spokane County and found firms that rely on exports employ more than 2,700 people.
The EX-IM bank site has a handy statistical sorter to look at the total benefits extended in each state's congressional district.
For Eastern Washington, in 2011, for instance, you'd find the following numbers: eight companies received some form of EX-IM help, either through contract assistance or insurance on payments.
The top three countries that bought products from Eastern Washington, in 2011, were: Mexico, the Phillipines, South Korea.
Also listed there is the top dog among companies here taking advantage of EX-IM offers: It's Commercial Creamery Co., based in Spokane. They're using exports to send powdered milk and cheese powder to overseas buyers.