Landrieu demands Ex-Im reauthorization

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) called on Congress to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank.

“Now is the time to provide certainty to American businesses looking to ship their goods and services abroad by reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank,” Landrieu said Wednesday. “I’ve co-sponsored a bill to authorize the bank until 2019, and I call on all members of Congress from both parties to pass it as soon as possible.”

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Landrieu, who is facing a tough reelection race this November, said the United States is narrowing gap between imports and exports of American petroleum products. Her state refines a large portion of U.S. fuel.

Landrieu’s comments were sparked by the U.S. Commerce Department report that the trade deficit had fallen to a five-month low.

“Today’s report from the Commerce Department demonstrates the stark choice we have in front of us: either we export goods and services and import jobs, or import more goods and services and export jobs,” Landrieu said.

The Export-Import Bank expires this fall unless Congress reauthorizes it. The bank provides loans to U.S. manufacturers, such as Boeing, so that they can export their products to foreign countries.

There used to be broad bipartisan support for the Ex-Im Bank, but some Tea Party Republicans have argued that it’s an example of government run amuck. Democrats argue that because other countries heavily subsidize some of their industries, the United States has to reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank in order to remain competitive.