R. Bruce Josten is the Executive Vice President of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. he joined me today to discuss the reauthorization of the Exim Bank:
HH: I was giving Rick Perry a hard time about Export-Import Bank. Everybody knows I’m a big supporter of it, and not just because it supports GE and Boeing, neither of whom I represent, and thousands of small businesses across the United States, but because it’s important for our industrial base. It’s important because the field that we vacate will be occupied by the PRC and other of our near-peer competitors. Joining me now is R. Bruce Josten. Bruce is one of the great men of Washington, D.C. He is the executive vice president of the government affairs at the Chamber of Commerce, and he has been taking on the tough battles for decades. Bruce, welcome back to the Hugh Hewitt Show.
BJ: Thank you, Hugh, pleasure to join you today.
HH: All right, lay out the case for Ex-Im. I just boxed a little bit with Governor Perry, who revoked his support after 14 years as governor. I don’t really know where the battle lay right now.
BJ: Okay, well, your audience first needs to understand that on a global basis, there are 59 export financing facilities, meaning there are 58 other countries whose national governments worldwide have export financing facilities to assist their multinational corporations when contract bids are brought. If we eliminate Ex-Im, we in a sense are unilaterally disarming, and then we are putting U.S. companies at a competitive disadvantage, and most especially the ones who sell expensive capital goods. You mentioned Boeing, so that clearly includes aircraft. You mentioned locomotives. That clearly includes GE, and turbines, that’s GE as well. And it puts them at a unique disadvantage, because their foreign competitors, foreign multinationals, will all still enjoy ample financing from their home country export credit facilities. And that financing advantage will easily knock U.S. companies out of the competition. And that is especially true in two areas, one, nuclear power, where any deal globally essentially requires support from an official export credit agency such as the U.S.’ Export-Import Bank, and the U.S. nuclear industry is completely dependent on the exports. There are virtually no new nuclear plants being built in the United States, while they are being built throughout the world. And they’re required on big infrastructure projects. And in this country, everybody on a bipartisan basis, in fact, politically, supports upgrading and modernizing infrastructure, since it’s the platform that your entire economy runs on. And if we get out of providing some credit agency support, again, ex-im kind of financing is required by most companies to even big on huge multibillion dollar overseas infrastructure projects. Continue Reading