NEI: Failure to renew Ex-Im Bank charter already costing U.S. jobs

The Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) said on Thursday that U.S. exporters would face difficulties if Congress doesn't reauthorize the U.S. Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im Bank).

The bank's charter was not renewed when it expired in July, and the NEI said the effects from this already are being felt. General Electric said recently that it will move 500 jobs in the U.S. overseas. The company reached a deal with a French export credit agency for financing needed for its global power projects.

“With no U.S. export financing available, GE must pursue non-U.S. options," the company said in a statement. "Many of these export credit agencies have requirements similar to the U.S. Ex-Im Bank’s -- that production and jobs must be invested in-country to qualify for financing. This will result in the loss of thousands of U.S. jobs — both at GE and at our suppliers.”

The NEI said all nuclear exporting countries have their own version of the Ex-Im Bank. Should the U.S. bank's authorization not be renewed, domestic exporters face the challenge of competing with global corporate entities with financial support coming from their respective export banks.

“In the civilian nuclear business, foreign customers require official export credit agency support as part of any major nuclear construction deal,” NEI Director of Supplier Programs Ted Jones said. “Due to the large sums of money involved and the long time it takes to realize a return on your investment, commercial banks are wary of committing funds to build nuclear power plants. It’s a function that only governments, or government-backed entities, can perform. It may not be a perfect model, but that’s the nature of this competitive market.”

The NEI continues to call for reauthorization of the bank to support U.S. exports on global markets.

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Nuclear Energy Institute

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