MAY 31, 2012 — USA Maritime has applauded President Obama's signature of legislation to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im) and increase its annual lending cap from $100 billion to $140 billion; the bank's charter had been set to expire on May 31, 2012. The legislation was approved by the House of Representatives on May 9 and by the Senate on May 15.
The Ex-Im Bank provides direct loans and other financing to facilitate purchases of U.S.-made products shipped in U.S.-flag vessels.
USA Maritime Chairman James L. Henry issued the following statement:
"USA Maritime applauds President Obama and Members of the Senate and the House of Representatives for working together in a bipartisan fashion to ensure the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank – and for helping to boost the Bank's capacity to support U.S. manufacturing and maritime jobs.
"Since 1934, the Ex-Im Bank has provided direct loans, loan guarantees, working capital guarantees and credit insurance to enable foreign purchases of U.S.-made products. This not only boosts U.S. exports and supports our domestic maritime industry, but it also supports employment of hundreds of thousands of Americans.
"USA Maritime and its members commend the Ex-Im Bank for its positive effect on the U.S. economy, and we are honored to play a part in its work by carrying U.S. exports. The U.S.-flag vessels supported by Ex-Im Bank cargoes are crucial to protecting America's security and economic interests. Commercial U.S.-flag vessels transported over 90 percent of the equipment and supplies delivered to U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Using these ships is also extremely cost effective, as it would otherwise cost the federal government at least $13 billion in capital costs to duplicate the U.S.-flag sealift capacity alone. Additionally, operating ships under the U.S. flag provides much-needed American jobs.
"In short, the reauthorization of the Ex-Im Bank represents a smart and sound investment in America and in our U.S. maritime fleet, and we applaud Congress and President Obama for their continued support of the Ex-Im Bank's mission."
USA Maritime is a coalition of carriers and maritime unions whose members include:
- American Maritime Congress
- American Maritime Officers (AMO)
- American Maritime Officers Service (AMOS)
- American Roll-on Roll-off Carrier LLC
- APL Ltd.
- Central Gulf Lines Inc.
- FOSS International, Inc.
- Hapag-Lloyd USA, LLC
- Intermarine LLC
- International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots
- Liberty Maritime Corporation
- Maersk Line Limited
- Marine Engineers Beneficial Association (MEBA)
- Maritime Institute for Research and Industrial Development (MIRAID)
- Sailors' Union of the Pacific
- Seafarers International Union (SIU)
- Transportation Institute
- United Maritime Group
- Waterman Steamship Corporation