U.S. Senator Kay Hagan applauded final Senate passage of the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank that last year alone in North Carolina supported more than 3,300 jobs and $456 million in exports. Since 2007, the bank has supported more than $1.8 billion in export sales by 169 North Carolina companies, the majority of which were small businesses, according to Hagan.
“The bipartisan reauthorization of the Ex-Im Bank is great news for North Carolina’s economy because the Bank supports thousands of jobs and small businesses,” Hagan said. “My four favorite words are ‘Made in North Carolina,’ and the Ex-Im Bank helps ship that label around the globe. I am also pleased that the reauthorization includes my provision to gives the textile industry a seat at the table by adding a textile industry representative to the Bank’s Advisory Council.”
The reauthorization will increase the lending cap from $100 million to $140 million to facilitate export financing through 2015. Hagan’s provision ensures that the textile industry has a representative on the Ex-Im Bank Advisory Committee and was praised by the National Council of Textile Organizations. More than 1,500 textile facilities employ more than 130,000 North Carolinians. North Carolina textiles and fabrics accounted for more than $2 billion in exports in 2011.
“The textile industry has a rich history in North Carolina where we have more than 1,500 textile facilities employing over 130,000 North Carolinians. I insisted on a seat at the table for our textile producers, and their inclusion in this bill makes it an even more urgent priority for me,” said Hagan.
“National Council of Textile Organizations applauds U.S. Senator Kay Hagan’s leadership in opening up business opportunities for U.S. textile producers by securing a position on the Ex-Im Bank’s Advisory Committee for a textile industry representative,” said Cass Johnson, National Council of Textile Organizations President. “This appointment will complement the apparel industry representative already serving on the committee and will allow for sound supply chain financing policies to be recommended and developed by the Bank and utilized by U.S. manufacturers.”
Hagan and Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President, Fred P. Hochberg, have convened two Ex-Im Bank Global Access Forums for Small Business in Charlotte and Greensboro. Both forums featured industry, academic and government experts providing North Carolina businesses with practical advice on how to gain a competitive edge in today’s global marketplace when selling their goods and services overseas. More than 400 North Carolina small business owners attended the forums to learn more about growing their export business.
The Export-Import Bank’s Global Access for Small Business initiative is currently under way, and it is aimed at increasing the number of small businesses across the United States that export goods and services produced by U.S. workers. This is an integral part of the President’s National Export Initiative (NEI), led by the Commerce Department, to double U.S. exports by 2015.
“North Carolina is still home to textile industry,” said Hagan. “I want to be sure we don’t loose any of them.”