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  October 31st, 2015 | Written by

U.S. Aerospace and Defense Industries Encouraged by House Action on EXIM

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  • “The work is not yet done.” Aerospace Industries Association CEO David Melcher, on EXIM.
  • The shutdown of EXIM has put billions of dollars in commercial airplane sales at risk.
  • Several companies are talking about moving operations overseas because EXIM financing has not been available.

The U.S. House of Representatives voted last week 313-118 to revive the beleaguered Export-Import Bank (EXIM).

The legislation, introduced by Rep. Fincher’s (R-Tennessee), now goes to the Senate, where supporters are attempting to craft a plan to bring a bill reinstating the bank to the White House for approval.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) has said he won’t take up a stand-alone bill, although he has allowed the agency’s renewal to be attached to other ‘must-pass’ legislation.

While a bill identical to the one that cleared the House also passed the Senate, it was attached to that chamber’s long-term highway bill. If the House passes its own long-term highway bill, as expected, supporters expect that will serve as the vehicle for a conference bill that could include EXIM’s renewal.

Passage of the bill in the House drew immediate praise from Aerospace Industries Association President and CEO David Melcher, who said that EXIM “is a valuable tool supporting exports in the aerospace and defense industry – the leading export industry in the U.S. manufacturing sector with a trade surplus of nearly $62 billion.”

While stating that, “We are relieved that common sense has prevailed and the majority has found a way – even using the unconventional discharge process – to express its will, the work is not yet done.”

The shutdown of the bank over the past four months has cost U.S. aerospace companies “three space payload orders, with billions of dollars in commercial airplane sales are at risk, and several companies are talking about moving operations overseas…all because EXIM financing has not been available since July 1,” said Melcher.

“Enough is enough,” he added. “Identical language has now passed in both the House and Senate.  Both chambers have expressed their will. We strongly urge House and Senate leadership to join in a cooperative, bipartisan spirit and do the right thing to restore our country’s global competitiveness.”