Friday, April 25, 2014

George Allen: Reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank is a no-brainer

By George Allen
The Washington Examiner, April 25, 2014
Cross-posted at

Today, exports are more important than ever to American businesses, manufacturers, and the overall strength of our nation's economy. With 95 percent of the world's consumers living outside the United States, many companies can be more successful if they are able to expand and thrive in the global marketplace.

With that in mind, it seems like an easy call to support reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank -- one of the hottest topics in Washington right now.

The Ex-Im Bank is an independent federal organization that has historically enjoyed bipartisan support, as it has been highly successful in helping American companies export goods since 1934. In fact, just last year the bank facilitated $37 billion of exports, thereby bolstering about 205,000 U.S. jobs.

However, some Republican members of Congress have expressed hesitation in supporting this proven booster for private-sector U.S. jobs. While it has become easy to make a habit of criticizing policies of the current administration, this is an organization that is to be commended, not condemned. After all, what's more Republican than an entity that spurs American business and jobs, while helping to reduce the federal deficit at no cost to taxpayers? That's exactly what the Ex-Im Bank does, and American companies rely on it to survive in hypercompetitive foreign markets in which governments unfairly prop up and heavily subsidize their own nation's companies.

I believe it's important to remember that President Ronald Reagan supported the Ex-Im Bank. When Reagan signed the reauthorization in 1986, extending the bank's charter for six years, he noted that it “sends an important signal to both our exporting community and foreign suppliers that American exporters will continue to be able to compete vigorously for business throughout the world.”

Reagan’s message still rings true today.

Read more at the Washington Examiner.

George Allen was Republican governor of Virginia from 1994-98 and represented the state in the U.S. Senate from 2001-07.

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