CONGRESSMAN BISHOP, EX-IM BANK VICE CHAIR FELTON EMPHASIZE JOBS IN ROUNDTABLE & TOUR OF THRUSH AIRCRAFT
ALBANY, GA – Today, Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) joined Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im) Vice Chair Wanda Felton for a roundtable discussion and tour of Thrush Aircraft in Albany, Georgia. The Ex-Im Bank, a wholly owned U.S. government corporation, is the official export credit agency (ECA) of the United States and finances and facilitates U.S. exports of goods and services while supporting U.S. employment. The agency is set to expire on September 30, 2014 unless Congress reauthorizes it. Thrush Aircraft is one of the many companies and small businesses that receive assistance through the Ex-Im Bank, which allows it to support jobs and compete overseas.
“There are some 4,000 jobs that are directly related to the support that the Ex-Im Bank gives here in the Second District alone and there are millions of jobs that the bank supports nationwide,” said Congressman Bishop. “If Congress does not reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank, these jobs will be lost and we certainly are not in a position where we can afford to lose jobs when the economy is just beginning to rebound. It is my hope that reasonable minds will come together and recognize that the Ex-Im Bank is a win-win for American workers, small businesses, and our rural communities.”
“The Ex-Im Bank ensures that, all things being equal, American companies have the ability to win sales and grow sales outside of these borders based on merit,” said Ex-Im Bank Vice Chair Felton. “The Ex-Im Bank is a self-sufficient, self-sustaining government agency and we are careful and prudent in the way we manage the taxpayer dollar to the tune that we were able to return $2 billion over the past five years to the U.S. Treasury. Frankly, playing with every tool we’ve got to beat the competition is important because that’s how businesses grow and thrive and how we will drive job growth in this country in the future.”
“At Thrush Aircraft, we have 180 jobs right now and we will soon be creating another product line and adding more jobs,” said Thrush Aircraft President Payne Hughes. “The jobs are right here but the products will go overseas. Our business is growing and Ex-Im is a vital part of our growth and our banking.”
“Thrush’s plane has been a greatly sought-after product and to have it produced by American workers right here in the Second District is a really good opportunity for us,” continued Congressman Bishop. “This is why letting the Ex-Im Bank expire would be penny-wise and pound-foolish. This is where the rubber meets the road in the terms of jobs and the economy and if we want to have the American economy fully recover and expand, this is the kind of self-sufficient government agency that we ought to be supporting.”
In the Second Congressional District from 2013 to 2014, the Export-Import Bank reported that it authorized $45 million in direct loans, loan guarantees, working capital finance, and export credit insurance. It further reported that $89 million has been disbursed to support the export of goods and services over this time period. The total value of the exports that these funds have supported is $426 million. Ex-Im financing went to four exporters, all of which are small businesses. In addition to Thrush Aircraft in Albany, other recipients include Swift Spinning in Columbus; Master Wall, Inc. in Midland; and Easterlin Pecan Company in Montezuma.