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GNDC pushing for reauthorized Export-Import Bank

The Greater North Dakota Chamber is supporting the reauthorization of the “Export-Import” Bank.

The bank is described as the official credit agency of the United States…and it has helped 16 North Dakota businesses export products and crops.

Tom Shorma with WCCO Belting of Wahpeton said his company has used the bank for 18 years -- and he said it has been valuable to his business.

"Over that time, we've grown from a company that was basically selling into Canada, into one that sells into more than 20 countries," Shorma said. "Our ability to do that is always dependent on our ability to finance those sales and secure payment."

Shorma said one of the biggest concerns from companies in the export business is collecting for what they ship.

"That's what the Export-Import Bank does really well -- it guarantees payment," Shorma said.

Shorma said there is a perception that the Ex-Im Bank benefits only larger manufacturers.

"But all those bigger firms outsource their work to smaller companies," Shorma said. "Companies like ours are very dependent on those types of services to compete globally. All those countries we're selling into also offer financing services for their own manufacturers. This just lets us compete on a level playing field."

Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) is a co-sponsor of a bill that would ensure the Export-Import Bank does not expire. Without reauthorization, the Bank expires Sept. 30.