CONGRESSMAN BISHOP, EX-IM BANK VICE CHAIR FELTON VISIT SWIFT SPINNING
COLUMBUS, GA – Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) joined Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im) Vice President and Vice Chair Wanda Felton for a roundtable discussion and tour of Swift Spinning in Columbus, Georgia.
“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.”
Headquartered in Columbus, Georgia, Swift Spinning produces cotton rings of spun yarn. After buying bulk cotton directly from the producers, the mill uses 32,640 spindles to produce 350,000 lbs. of spun cotton rings of yarn every week. Swift Spinning 100% cotton yarn is used to make three types of products; hosiery (socks), specialty weaving goods, and high end knitted apparel. Shipped domestically and internationally, Swift Spinning’s sale of cotton yarn contributes to international trade through its export of yarn in addition to supporting jobs in auxiliary industries here in the United States.
“Swift Spinning is a strong advocate for reauthorization of the Ex-Im Bank, whose charter currently expires on September 30,” said Trey Hodges, President and CEO of Swift Spinning. “Ex-Im is a critical tool in our business model for credit insurance as we do business in Central America and Mexico. Due to larger credit lines and the name recognition of the U.S. government that Ex-Im bank brings to the table, these two factors have allowed our company to grow our business outside the US exponentially. We believe that our export business would suffer immediately if Ex-Im is not available.”
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 its charter. Swift Spinning 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.
“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 Wanda Felton, First Vice President and Vice Chair of the Export-Import Bank. “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.”
“Letting the Ex-Im Bank expire would be penny-wise and pound-foolish,” continued Congressman Bishop. “Job creation at Swift Spinning, and other companies where Ex-Im financing is utilized, is where the rubber meets the road, and if we want to have the American economy fully recover and expand, Ex-Im Bank is the kind of self-sufficient government agency 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 Swift Spinning in Columbus, other recipients include; Thrush Aircraft in Albany; Master Wall, Inc. in Midland; and Easterlin Pecan Company in Montezuma.