Thursday, July 31, 2014

Mark Warner Supports Export Import Bank Because He's a Job Creator

This past Monday, I attended a gathering of union port workers in Norfolk who met with Senator Mark Warner to support his efforts to introduce legislation to reauthorize the Export Important bank and increase its spending authority from $140 billion to $160 billion over the next five years.  Both Virginia senators, Tim Kaine and Warner, issued a press release stating their intention to introduce the measure in the Senate.

The Export-Import Bank finances the sale of U.S. products overseas and assumes credit risks that private banks are unable to carry.  According to Sen. Warner, the Export Import Bank has financed $1 billion in exports for over 100 Virginia business, large and small, since 2007.  The bank was first created in 1934 under President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and has been popular with both Democratic and Republican administrations until -- you guessed it -- the extreme Tea Party wing of the Republican Party began opposing it because they are in a thrall to an anti-government, so-called free market ideology that opposes any government attempt to help Americans, even businesses.  Warner's opponent in the senate race, Ed Gillespie, is on record opposing it as he panders to the anti-business, hard right ideological wing of the Virginia Republican Party.

To put it in perspective, not only has support for the Ex Im Bank been bipartisan and pro business, even the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers supports it. You can go here to get more information on the Virginia businesses, large and small, the Ex Im Bank has benefited.  And The August Free Press has a partial list of Virginia businesses who've been helped by it.

Of course, other countries not only have government sponsored banks that provide similar loan guarantees and even more financial support for their countries' exports. Additionally, the Ex Im Bank has actually lowered the federal budget deficit and turned a profit last year.  And it levels the playing field overseas for our businesses.  As Warner said at the Monday meeting, why would the U.S. unilaterally disarm itself economically in the global competition for overseas markets?

As Warner said at the Monday meeting as reported in The Daily Progress:
"We live in the real world, not the theoretical world. And when China, Brazil, France, Canada all use these tools to the advantage of their companies, and somehow America, which has been using this Export-Import Bank for decades, would suddenly say, `Alright, we're going to take away this support.' This would cost us thousands of American jobs. That makes absolutely no sense," Warner said earlier this week during a speech in Norfolk.
Warner made his comments at a campaign event with about a dozen unionized port workers standing behind him at a riverfront park in view of two port terminals. He said the bank helps ensure cargo moves through the Port of Virginia, supporting 10,000 port-related jobs. The Port of Virginia is the third busiest on the East Coast.
  For additional information, you can go here and here.  And by the way, I took the photo on both those sites.  Below are a few other pictures from the Monday gathering that I took.

The last picture is my husband, Dan Duncan, getting ready to introduce the Senator in Norfolk.  My role was to snap the shots on an iPhone.

But nepotism aside, this is a serious issue.  Talk about free markets is fine but when your ideology trumps your business sense, as it does neophyte candidate Ed Gillespie, you might not be the right candidate for U.S. senator from business friendly Virginia, a place where both the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and smart union members realize that supporting local businesses through leveling the global playing field is the ultimate job creator. 

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