WASHINGTOJN, DC—Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) supported legislation today that allows the United States Export-Import Bank to continue the financing assistance it provides to help businesses sell their products around the world. Last year, financing from the Export-Import Bank helped 3,600 private companies add almost 300,000 jobs across the country. The Bank has made these positive contributions while returning revenue to the U.S. Treasury.

“The Ex-Im Bank plays a critical and unmatched role in helping American companies export their products and services around the world,” Himes said. “As we work to foster economic growth and make the U.S. more competitive, we need to continue initiatives like this that help companies create jobs.”

Companies from southwest Connecticut that have benefited from Ex-Im’s financing span a range of industries and include manufacturing, startup, and chemical companies. Monroe-based M Cubed Technologies, which produces personal body armor, has used $4.5 million in loans backed by Ex-Im to support $30 million in export sales for the company. Cogent Fibre, located in Stamford, has also benefited from the bank’s services, as has American Natural Soda Ash Corp from Westport.

Click here for photos of Himes on a recent tour of M Cubed.

The legislation passed today reauthorizes the Ex-Im Bank through FY2014 and increases its lending authority by $40 billion over the next two years. Bank officials have warned that without a rise in the ceiling, they could soon reach the current lending cap of $100 billion, forcing them to stop supporting U.S. exports. The National Association of Manufacturers, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Business Roundtable have all pushed for this authorization.

The Ex-Im Bank is the official export credit agency of the United States. It provides working capital, export credit insurance, and loan guarantees and direct loans to U.S. companies to help turn export opportunities into real sales that help to maintain and create U.S. jobs and contribute to a stronger national economy. The bank does not compete with private sector lenders, but provides export financing products that fill gaps in trade financing by assuming credit and country risks that the private sector is unable or unwilling to accept, particularly for large purchases that would otherwise go to foreign competitors backed by foreign government concessionary financing.