President Signs CalChamber-Supported Ex-Im Bank Reauthorization

U.S. President Barack Obama has signed bipartisan legislation to resurrect the Export-Import Bank. This action will extend the bank’s charter by five years until 2019.

According to The Hill, the renewal of the 81-year-old institution’s charter was included in a five-year, $305 billion federal transportation measure that passed the Senate late Thursday on an 83-16 vote, only one day ahead of the expiration of the latest short-term funding patch. The House passed the bill earlier in the day on a 359-65 vote.

The California Chamber of Commerce urged the state’s representatives to support reauthorizing the U.S. Export-Import Bank, which expired on June 30.

Ex-Im has a proven record of success, and turns a profit for the American taxpayer. Since 1990, Ex-Im has refunded $7 billion to the U.S. Treasury above all costs and loss reserves, including $674.7 billion in the 2014 fiscal year alone.

The potential impact of a lack of financing for exports for both small and large businesses would have been damaging to the economic recovery of both California and the United States. Over the last five years, Ex-Im assisted 800 businesses from California, the vast majority being small businesses.

In fact, small businesses account for approximately 89% of Ex-Im’s transactions. These small business transaction figures are in addition to the tens of thousands of small and medium-sized businesses that supply goods and services to large exporters. In the 2014 fiscal year, Ex-Im provided more than $5 billion in financing and insurance for U.S. small businesses.

California is one of the top economies in the world with a gross state product exceeding $2 trillion. In 2014, California exported to approximately 229 foreign markets. Trade offers the opportunity to expand the role of California’s exports.

48 out of 53 California Congressional Representatives voted “aye” on the bill. Among the “aye” votes were the following California representatives:

U.S Senators: Boxer (D-California), Feinstein (D-California).

U.S. House of Representatives: Bass (D-Los Angeles), Becerra (D-Los Angeles), Bera (D-Elk Grove), Brownley ( D-Westlake Village), Calvert (R-Corona), Capps (D-Santa Barbara), Cárdenas (D-San Fernando Valley), Chu (D-Monterey Park), Cook (R-Yucca Valley), Costa (D-Fresno), Davis (D-San Diego), Denham (R-Atwater), DeSaulnier (D-Concord) , Eshoo (D-Palo Alto), Farr (D-Carmel), Garamendi (D-Walnut Grove), Hahn (D-San Pedro), Honda (D-San Jose) , Huffman (D-Marin), Hunter (R-Alpine),  Knight (R-Palmdale), LaMalfa (R-Richvale), Lee (D-Oakland), Lieu (D-Torrance), Lowenthal (D-Long Beach) , Napolitano (D-Norwalk), Lofgren (D-San Jose), Matsui (D-Sacramento), McCarthy (R-Bakersfield), McNerney (D-Pleasanton), Nunes (R-Tulare), Pelosi (D-San Francisco), Peters (D-La Jolla), Roybal-Allard (D-Los Angeles) , Royce (R-Fullerton), Ruiz (D-Palm Desert), Linda Sánchez (D-Lakewood), Schiff (D-Burbank), Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks), Speier (D-Hillsborough), Swalwell (D-Dublin), Takano (D-Riverside), Thompson (D-St. Helena), Torres (D-Pomona), Valadao (R-Hanford), Vargas (D-Golden Hill), Walters (R-Irvine).

The CalChamber, in keeping with longstanding policy, enthusiastically supports free trade worldwide, expansion of international trade and investment, fair and equitable market access for California products abroad, and elimination of disincentives that impede the international competitiveness of California business.

Staff Contact: Susanne T. Stirling

Susanne T. Stirling
Susanne T. Stirling, senior vice president, international affairs, has headed CalChamber international activities for more than four decades. She is an appointee of the U.S. Secretary of Commerce to the National Export Council, and serves on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce International Policy Committee, the California International Relations Foundation, and the Chile-California Council. Originally from Denmark, she studied at the University of Copenhagen and holds a B.A. in international relations from the University of the Pacific, where she served as a regent from 2012 to 2021. She earned an M.A. from the School of International Relations at the University of Southern California. See full bio.