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MN businesses fear job loss would follow Export Import Bank's demise


The Export Import Bank may not be on your radar, but it's apparently helped build and sell a whole lot of radars and other aerospace equipment.

The owner of one Minnesota maker of equipment for airplanes writes in the St. Cloud Times that 10,000 highly skilled Minnesota workers whose companies are supported by aircraft exports would see their jobs threatened if Congress fails to reauthorize the Export Import Bank by the deadline of midnight Tuesday.

Wendell Maddox writes that his company, Eden Prairie-based ION Corp., doesn't use the services of the Ex Im Bank, which helps finance exports when commercial credit is not available.

But Maddox says exports are the lifeblood of the U.S. aerospace industry and the Export Import bank's work is critical to them.

The Star Tribune reports all of the Democrats in Minnesota's congressional delegation support reauthorizing the bank, but at least one Republican – Rep. Erik Paulsen – opposes it. House Republicans John Kline and Tom Emmer had not responded to the newspaper.

The Export Import bank has been reauthorized with bipartisan support for 80 years. But criticism has been building recently, particularly among Tea Party Republicans and free market conservatives, who decry "crony capitalism" and "corporate welfare," the Star Tribune says.

Last year John Cooney, who directs the Minnesota chapter of Americans for Prosperity, wrote in an opinion piece for the newspaper that the Ex Im Bank might as well be deemed the Beltway Bank for Cronies.

Maddox counters that small businesses comprise nearly 90 percent of the bank's transactions. He adds that since the bank charges for its services, it has added money to the treasury every year since 1992.

The Export Import Bank says since 2007 it has helped more than 200 Minnesota companies secure $3 billion in foreign sales. It describes some of those Minnesota recipients here.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told the Associated Press late Monday that he planned to arrange a Senate vote on the bank before Tuesday's midnight deadline. But there was no similar word from the House.

If the bank's charter is not reauthorized by July 1, it would operate through the end of September to wrap up its business, Agence France Presse says.

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