PITTSBURGH, PA — At a roundtable discussion convened today by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and featuring Westinghouse Electric Co. and Holtec International Corp., business leaders urged Congress to reauthorize the U.S. Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank, which is critical to hundreds of Pennsylvania companies and thousands of workers to grow sales overseas in a highly competitive global economy.

NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons, Westinghouse President and CEO Danny Roderick and Holtec Senior Vice President and Chief Nuclear Officer Pierre Paul Oneid agreed that companies of all sizes—and their suppliers—will be adversely affected if Congress fails to reauthorize the bank’s charter, which will expire unless Congress acts by September 30.

“The Ex-Im Bank is limited in scope but crucial for thousands of companies like Westinghouse in hundreds of congressional districts as well as suppliers like Holtec that otherwise would not be able to compete on a level playing field,” said Timmons. “In today’s global economy, manufacturers in the United States must compete on quality, price, reliability and on-time delivery. These companies should not be left without vital Ex-Im services and lose business because foreign countries provide official export financing to support their companies.”

“This is not a partisan issue; this is an American competitiveness issue,” said Roderick. “From the energy industry perspective, the Ex-Im Bank is an absolute necessity in order to compete globally against state-funded and state-subsidized companies. The Ex-Im Bank is essential as Westinghouse pursues global market opportunities, which the Department of Commerce values up to $740 billion and which can create and sustain tens of thousands of high-paying U.S. jobs.”

“We are seeking assistance from the Ex-Im Bank for a critical project in Ukraine—Central Spent Fuel Storage Facility (CSFSF)—which will create some 200 manufacturing jobs here in Pennsylvania and Ohio,” said Oneid. “Without the CSFSF, Ukraine is dependent on Russia to keep its nuclear reactors running. The Ex-Im Bank must continue to live: It is the only viable loan guarantor that can enable funding for this project. We consider the Ex-Im Bank a valuable instrument of our government’s foreign policy of which the situation in Ukraine is a textbook example.”

The failure to reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank will put businesses of all sizes at a disadvantage in the global economy, especially those competing in the global nuclear industry. The NAM is part of an effort of American businesses and organizations fighting to get the bank’s charter renewed so that manufacturers in the United States can win more sales overseas and support the growth of manufacturing and jobs in Pennsylvania and around the country.

Read the full NAM press release here.