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Forum on exporting products set for Monday

By Paul J. Nyden

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Fred P. Hochberg, president of the Export-Import Bank of the United States, will host the Global Access Forum on Monday in the Great Hall at the Culture Center on the Capitol grounds.

“Monday’s Global Access Forum will be an opportunity for West Virginia small businesses to learn more about how they can grow sales and add jobs here at home by exporting to new markets around the world,” Hochberg told the Gazette-Mail.

“The Export-Import Bank has a number of programs that can give West Virginia small businesses a competitive edge on the global stage.”

Since Hochberg came to the bank in 2009, it has worked with 13 small businesses in West Virginia, providing them with $32 million in loans to support $135 million in exports.

Many other developed countries within the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development have similar export credit agencies that follow by common rules to prevent distortionary trade practices.

China’s Ex-Im Bank does not follow OECD rules. Those rules regulate government contributions to private businesses and government actions to manipulate the monetary value of exports and imports.

The first panel discussion is titled “Other Companies are Exporting, Why Aren’t You?” West Virginia company officials will describe how their businesses use the Ex-Im Bank and other government agencies to help them expand.

Panel members will include Anthony Sexton, from Kanawha Scales & Systems; Chad Rump, Wheeling Truck Center; and Edward Schick, Huntington National Bank.

The Ex-Im Bank was set up to help promote job creation by financing U.S. exports to international buyers. The bank actually makes money for the federal government. Last year, it returned almost $1 billion last year to the Treasury and played a central role in supporting 205,000 domestic jobs.

Legislation supporting the bank will expire in September.

Manchin is leading efforts to have Congress reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank to continue providing loans and insurance services to help domestic businesses. In May 2012, the Senate voted 78-20 to keep the bank operating. The Ex-Im Bank helps businesses of all sizes. Last year, the bank approved a record 3,413 transactions for small businesses, which represented 89 percent of all its transactions.

The bank uses no taxpayer funding, but Congress must approve its new lending cap. That lending cap increased from $100 billion in 2012 to $140 billion in 2014.

Today, the bank is particularly devoted to increasing the number of small businesses that export products and services.

Manchin and Hochberg will open Monday’s forum. The program, open to the public, will begin at 9 a.m. Admission is free, but registration is required. Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. Registration can be completed online. More information can be found at www.exim.gov/gasb or by contacting Manchin’s office in Charleston at 304-4342-5855.

Reach Paul J. Nyden at pjnyden@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5164.


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