NSBA Urges Senate to Approve Cantwell Ex-Im Amendment

March 15, 2012


Molly Brogan




Washington, D.C. – The National Small Business Association (NSBA) and its international trade arm, the Small Business Exporters Association (SBEA) applaud Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) for leading the charge on an amendment to the upcoming Senate small business capital access bill to reauthorize the U.S. Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im Bank). The amendment would reauthorize Ex-Im Bank for four years and increase its lending cap to $140 billion—a compromise for which NSBA and SBEA have tirelessly advocated.

“This amendment stands to greatly help thousands of small businesses across the country expand their exports, maintain their international customer bases, and create U.S. jobs,” stated NSBA President and CEO Todd McCracken. “The impact Ex-Im Bank has on small-business exporters should not be underestimated.”

The majority of small businesses surveyed by NSBA and SBEA said concerns over getting paid and cost are the main barriers to exporting. Ex-Im Bank, through their lending and insurance programs, addresses those concerns and helps small exporters, who otherwise wouldn’t have been able to, compete globally.

Unfortunately, Ex-Im Bank is operating under a temporary extension that included no increase in its lending cap. There currently exists more business in Ex-Im Bank’s pipeline than it can support given the current cap limitations and, unless Congress acts soon, exporters could see their lender of last resort falter as it waits for the new reauthorization.

Not only has Ex-Im Bank supported estimated export financing totaling $32.7 billion, which enabled $41 billion in export sales and 290,000 U.S. jobs at over 3,600 companies, it has returned roughly $3.5 billion to the U.S. government since 2006. Furthermore, Ex-Im Bank hit a record $6 billion in support for small firms in FY 2011—an increase of more than 20 percent from FY 2010.

The amendment offered by Sen. Cantwell is exactly the kind of compromise language NSBA has been urging for months. Small exporters face fierce competition globally from other firms with strong backing from their own Export Credit Agencies. America’s small-business exporters need a strong partner in Ex-Im Bank, and we urge the Senate to approve this amendment.

Celebrating its 75th Anniversary in 2012, NSBA continues to advocate on behalf of America’s entrepreneurs. A staunchly nonpartisan organization, NSBA reaches more than 150,000 small businesses across the country and is proud to be the nation’s first small-business advocacy organization. For more information, please visit www.nsba.biz.