April 29 - At an official reception hosted by UTC Overseas, US Senator Lindsey Graham provided an update on the US Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank and its work of underwriting loan guarantees for American-exported projects, large and small.

Graham noted that while some had opposed reauthorisation of the 82-year old bank, its work is vital to American competitiveness and jobs.

"It makes money for taxpayers. It allows American companies like yours to … compete with overseas companies that have access to capital that you don't."

He added that closing the bank would leave the USA at a distinct competitive disadvantage in promoting export sales.

The US Congress finally reapproved the bank last year after a lengthy battle, but Graham explained the struggle is not yet finished.

Bank regulations prohibit bank loan guarantees over USD10 million in size without approval of the board of directors.

However, the current board has three vacancies and without sufficient directors it lacks a quorum to consider such approvals.

Graham stressed the need for bank supporters to press their elected representatives to act.

He pointed out that President Obama has nominated a Republican candidate for one of the vacancies, but opponents are still blocking action in order to hamper bank operations and threatening thousands of American jobs linked to those export sales.

One of the companies that was highly vocal in the campaign to get the bank reauthorised was UTC Overseas.

At a recent UTC-hosted reception in Washington, DC, during the bank's annual meeting, UTC honoured Senator Graham along with Capt William G. Schubert, president of International Trade and Transportation and former head of the US Maritime Administration, for their outstanding efforts in promotion of the US maritime industry and the Congressional re-authorisation of the bank.

Both men were presented with plaques citing their efforts and expressing the thanks of UTC and American business and commerce.

UTC Overseas executive vice president Marco Poisler said Senator Graham and Capt Schubert, have played leadership roles in the continual effort to support the bank's vital work. "We thought it important that their efforts be recognised and honoured by those of us who depend on strong international trade and transport and the vital work of the bank. Their continuing efforts in support of the trade, transportation and the maritime industry, including maritime education, has been exemplary."

A video of the awards presentations and Senator Graham's remarks can be seen below: 

Left to right Martin Whitmer, UTC Washington Office, Marco Poisler Executive VP UTC Overseas, Senator Lindsey Graham, Brian Posthumus, CEO UTC Overseas.