Davenport Aviation is a small business in Columbus — an aircraft parts distributor that exports its products to Africa and South America. Its business has grown over the past four years with the help of the Export-Import Bank.
Davenport Aviation is one of the 350 Ohio businesses that the Export-Import Bank has helped. This critical agency fills gaps in private export financing to help foreign buyers purchase goods and services made in America.
But unless Congress acts, the Export-Import Bank’s charter will expire on June 30. I spoke with Davenport Aviation’s president, Joao Simoes, last week about how important the Export-Import Bank’s programs have been to expanding his business. His company is one of the 226 small businesses in our state that has used the Export-Import Bank to sell Ohio products around the globe.
That’s why Congress needs to act now to guarantee the Export-Import Bank stays in business.
Last year, the Export-Import Bank supported more than $250 million in deals in the state of Ohio, according to its own estimates, and 60 percent of that support went to small businesses.
This isn’t just about big businesses—it’s also about their thousands of suppliers nationwide that contribute parts and labor to these exports.
The Export-Import Bank helps grow manufacturing, exports, and jobs — particularly high-paying manufacturing jobs.
We saw in 2009 what happened when the Big Three automakers got into trouble — the potential ripple effects could have stretched across the state and the country. Saving the auto industry saved our supply chain, not just the Big Three. The same is true of the Export-Import Bank — its benefits pay dividends throughout the economy.
Our competitors around the world — in China, India, Canada, and most European countries — have their own export-import banks. Why would we close a door for our manufacturers and put them at a disadvantage?
But that’s exactly what we’ll do if ideologues in Washington get their way, and we allow the Export-Import Bank’s authorization to expire at the end of this month.
The Export-Import Bank doesn’t cost taxpayers a dime, and has even helped us pay down the federal deficit. That’s another reason why it has historically been a bipartisan, non-controversial issue. In 2006, under President George W. Bush, the Senate unanimously reauthorized the Bank.
We need to stick to that bipartisan tradition, and reauthorize the Export-Import Bank without delay to support Ohio small businesses like Davenport Aviation as they seek to sell their products around the globe.
Sherrod Brown is a U.S. senator for the state of Ohio.
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