Peter Bowe president of Ellicott was one of a handful of American exporters invited to witness President Barack Obama sign the Export-Import Bank Reauthorization Act of 2012 (H.R. 2073) on May 30. The bill renews the charter of the Export-Import Bank for three years and increases the bank’s lending cap to $140 billion from the current $100 billion.
The bank is the government’s vehicle for promoting U.S. export sales.
The House passed the bill on May 9 with a 330 to 93 vote and the Senate passed it on May 15 with a 78-20 vote. Last year the Ex-Im Bank provided about $32 billion in loans loan guarantees and credit financing helping support 290000 jobs.
Ellicott uses Ex-Im Bank to help qualified overseas dredge buyers obtain favorable terms for their dredge purchases.
Bowe was in the audience as the president talked about his export initiatives and later posed for a picture with Ex-Im Bank Chairman Fred Hochberg on the podium.
President Obama thanked Congress for passing the bill and said “We’re … making sure that American businesses have better access to the 95 percent of the world’s consumers who live beyond our shores. And that’s why the bipartisan bill that I’m about to sign is so important. By reauthorizing support for the Export-Import Bank we’re helping thousands of businesses sell more of their products and services overseas and in the process we’re helping them create jobs here at home. And we’re doing that at no extra cost to the taxpayer.
“Over the past few years I’ve met with a lot of business leaders and a lot of workers across America from companies like Boeing to Dow Chemical to smaller companies that are also interested in accessing foreign markets. And they’ve told me how critical support from the Ex-Im Bank has been in competing more effectively in the global marketplace. As the head of the bank we owe our thanks to Fred Hochberg who is here on stage for doing such an outstanding job.
“Just to give you a couple of examples Boeing relied on support from the Ex-Im Bank to strike a deal selling more than 200 planes to one of the fastest-growing airlines in the world. And that translates into thousands of jobs here in the United States. As long as our global competitors are providing financing for their exports we’ve got to do the same. So I’m glad that Congress got this done. I’m grateful to members of both parties who came together and put the interests of the American people first” the President said.
Some conservatives objected to the bill saying that export subsidies distort the free market and global trade. Delta Airlines opposed the bill which put airlines that purchase Boeing products at a competitive advantage.