Good morning, today the Committee turns its attention to the nomination of James A. Harmon to be President and Chairman of the Ex - Im Bank, and Jackie M. Clegg to be First Vice President and Vice Chairman of the Export - Import Bank of the United States. Welcome to both of you.
I commend the President on his nomination of these two well- qualified individuals. I am confident in your leadership and ability, and I look forward to working with you both.
The Export - Import Bank provides an essential service to American businesses. The Bank's primary functions are to neutralize aggressive, foreign-export credit subsidies and to provide sound export financing options when private funds are not available. The Bank assists U.S. businesses and workers through a variety of loan, guarantee, and insurance programs.
Two market conditions, in particular, limit U.S. exports. First, other industrialized countries have established intricate systems of export subsidies and other forms of assistance which subsidize their exports to developing countries. Secondly, U.S. capital markets have demonstrated their inelasticity when it comes to reasonably priced, commercial financing for exporting companies.
The Bank has served as a major force in reducing the trade- distorting activities of foreign export-credit agencies. Additionally, the Bank has become involved in negotiating agreements which would limit subsidies by foreign countries. Because of the Bank, U.S. companies and their employees can compete on a fairer and more level playing field with the world community.
Since the Bank was re-chartered in 1992, it has completed over 10,000 financial transactions, totaling $65.6 billion. And since 1992, the Bank has supported 369 companies and 130 communities in New York State. It is estimated that 56,000 jobs have been positively impacted through Ex - Im Bank in New York. Additionally, New York State ranks number 3 among states whose companies use Ex - Im Bank, and not including aircraft sales, New York State is number two.
Access to the Bank for small business is also very important to me. It is estimated that 53% of the Bank's transactions have benefitted small businesses in New York. I would love to see that number increase further.
I thank Mr. Harmon and Ms. Clegg for appearing before the
Committee today, and look forward to working with both of you to
increase Ex-Im's contributions to small businesses and U.S. jobs.
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