September 16 - UTC Overseas has called on industry colleagues and US exporters to push for Congressional re-authorisation of the nation's Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank, which expired on July 1, 2015.
The call comes hot on the heels of General Electric's (GE) announcement that it is moving 500 US power turbine manufacturing jobs to Europe and China.
GE explained that it made such a decision due to the fact that it is bidding on USD11 billion worth of international power projects requiring credit agency financing, but can no longer access Ex-Im financing guarantees.
France, Hungary and China have agreed to provide GE lines of credit for global power project bids in exchange for moving production to the respective countries from plants in South Carolina, New York, Texas and Maine, warned UTC.
"GE's decision clearly illustrates the warnings we have raised with our representatives," said UTC executive vice president Marco Poisler. "Without a national agency to provide loan guarantees and technical expertise to US exporters, we will lose significant overseas sales and American jobs to other nations who continue to operate similar programmes and recognise their importance in the stimulation of international trade."
Alan Favicchio, oil and gas director at UTC, added that support for the Ex-Im Bank remains strong: "Supporters in Congress say they urgently need renewed pressure from companies most directly affected to let their representatives know how closure of Ex-Im will impact them in terms of lost business and good jobs for American workers.
"The Bank has worked quietly and effectively for over eight decades to promote US exports by providing loan guarantees for projects that meet their exacting standards. Opponents have claimed US banks can take on the role of Ex-Im. In fact, many of the contracts involve projects in countries with limited fiscal resources and US banks simply will not finance them without Ex-Im guarantees."
Favicchio went on: "There are major business opportunities for US exporters in third-world countries, especially in infrastructure, power generation and distribution, industrial manufacturing, and agricultural development. But if we don't renew our Ex-Im Bank, we will lose jobs, businesses and influence worldwide to foreign competition willing to provide the loan guarantees we presently cannot."
HLPFI reported on June 2 that UTC was already pushing for the renewal of the Ex-Im Bank before it expired.