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Leader McCarthy & House Republicans: Putting American Exports & Jobs in Peril

Federal Information & News Dispatch, Inc.

How have Mr. McCarthy's first televised remarks as House Majority Leader, particularly on vowing not to support the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank - an agency that is responsible for our nation's exports and hundreds of thousands of American jobs - been received" Not with positive reviews. From USA Today Editorial Board:

Bid to Kill Ex-Im Bank Threatens U.S. Jobs

One of the most vexing economic developments in recent decades has been the decline in manufacturing jobs. An industry that employed nearly 25% of the workforce in the 1970s today accounts for only 7.8%.

The loss of these jobs has reduced opportunities for people without a college degree to move into the middle class. It has also prompted hand-wringing among lawmakers of both parties.

So it comes as a surprise that some Republicans - including newly-elected House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. - are out to demonstrate their ideological purity by killing the one agency of government that does the most to promote manufacturing exports.

The Export-Import Bank, which facilitates commerce between U.S. manufacturers and foreign buyers, has done little to deserve the scorn it is receiving. Among other things, it guarantees loans (at a price) for foreign buyers of U.S. wares and sells insurance to American companies dealing in risky parts of the world. By its own estimation, it is directly responsible for 205,000 American jobs and makes a small profit that allows it to send cash to the Treasury.

But the institution has become a symbol for certain members of Congress and Tea Party-affiliated groups out to show that it is not just programs for the poor that they want to ax. Their goal is to block the bank's reauthorization when it comes up in September.

.in the real world, most industrialized nations do far more to promote manufacturers and exports.In the real world, many overseas buyers prefer - or even require - that their suppliers have financial assistance from their government. And in the real world, banks don't provide financing to small businesses interested in doing business in the far corners of the world in sometimes non-democratic or unstable countries.

For these and other reasons, the Ex-Im Bank plays a vital role in facilitating U.S. exports and, by extension, jobs in manufacturing. This is a position equally shared by right-leaning groups such as the Chamber of Commerce and left-leaning labor organizations.

Should the U.S. suffer more losses in manufacturing jobs so that some groups can show how ideologically pure, and unaware of the practicalities of global commerce, they really are?

Manufacturers said "to close the Ex-Im Bank in this environment is surrendering export markets and economic growth in the U.S," calling the move "devastating." [6/22]

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Since 2009, the Export-Import Bank has supported over 1 million jobs across the United States. Rather than caving into the Tea Party and Heritage Foundation pressure, jeopardizing profits and Americans' job security, and putting our nation's exports in colossal peril, Mr. McCarthy should work with Democrats to reauthorize the charter and ensure America's competitiveness and manufacturers continue to thrive.

Copyright:(c) 2010 Federal Information & News Dispatch, Inc.
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