Last week, U.S. Rep. David Jolly, R-Indian Shores, took a stand and voted to support Florida job creators by reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank.
When Congress carelessly allowed Ex-Im’s charter to expire in June, we at Buffalo International became hamstrung. We sell transmission lines and poles to utility companies overseas, from Africa to the UK.
It has been four months since Ex-Im lapsed, and we have already had to change the way we do business.
Since Ex-Im stopped offering credit assistance, we have been forced to convert all of our customers from offering them credit to requiring letters of credit, and we do not get paid until we ship. This is not sustainable for us. If Ex-Im remains closed, we will have to reduce the amount that we sell abroad, reducing manufacturing at home.
There are no benefits to closing Ex-Im. Since the Bank has never cost the taxpayers a cent in its eight decades of operation, the government won’t be saving money. In fact, Ex-Im generates money for taxpayers, making it one of precious few government agencies to turn a profit.
For as long as Ex-Im remains closed, Florida job creators lose out. Nearly 900 companies use the bank in Florida alone, and when it closed we were left with no alternative source of export financing.
I applaud Rep. Jolly for supporting Florida jobs, and I urge the Senate will follow his lead and vote to reauthorize Ex-Im.
Francois Petot owns Buffalo International, Inc., a small Clearwater business.