SEATTLE, Aug. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Pacific Northwest small-and-medium sized business owners will have more opportunities to boost sales through exports because of increased presence by the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank). Today, at a Global Access for Small Business forum, Ex-Im Bank Chairman Fred P. Hochberg and Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) announced the opening of a new Ex-Im Bank office in Seattle, Washington.
This is the third opening of four new regional export finance centers this year by Ex-Im Bank in its effort to assist local businesses in improving their export sales. The center will provide enhanced access to the Bank's products and services, and it will assist local businesses in obtaining export financing to grow foreign sales.
"Ex-Im Bank authorizes more financing to Washington than to any other state in the nation," said Hochberg. "We're proud of our work in the Evergreen State and are here because of the enormous potential we see for small-and-medium sized business owners. Having a full-time presence in Seattle will help ensure that more Pacific Northwest businesses are able to increase their bottom-line by reaching more international markets."
"The Export-Import Bank supports more than 83,000 jobs at more than 100 businesses in Washington state," said U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell. "We know that when we become exporters we increase jobs in Washington state. This new office is a tool for Washington businesses to increase exports and sell Washington products around the world."
Cantwell was a Congressional leader in working to get the bank reauthorized for three years. In early April, Cantwell joined local businesses in Spokane, Yakima, Moses Lake, and Everett to call for Congress to reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank. In March, Cantwell introduced a bipartisan amendment to reauthorize the Bank. In February, Cantwell joined Senate Small Business Committee members in urging Senate leadership to move forward on reauthorizing the bank.
John Brislin will serve as the Bank's Seattle regional director, and the new office will be located in the U.S. Export Finance Assistance Center at 2001 6th Avenue, Suite 2600 in Seattle, Washington. Potential exporters may call (206) 728-2264 for more information. This year, Ex-Im Bank has opened regional centers in Minneapolis, Atlanta, and Seattle and is scheduled to open an office in Detroit this fall.
More than 100 representatives from local businesses attended today's forum, and many received one-on-one trade counseling with Ex-Im Bank trade finance specialists. Washington is one of the most trade dependent states in the nation, and the Bank's financing helped support more than 83,000 local jobs last year.
About Ex-Im Bank: Ex-Im Bank is an independent federal agency that helps create and maintain U.S. jobs by filling gaps in private export financing at no cost to American taxpayers. In the past five years, Ex-Im Bank has earned for U.S. taxpayers $1.9 billion above the cost of operations. The Bank provides a variety of financing mechanisms, including working capital guarantees, export-credit insurance and financing to help foreign buyers purchase U.S. goods and services.
Ex-Im Bank approved $32.7 billion in total authorizations in FY 2011 -- an all-time Ex-Im record. This total includes more than $6 billion directly supporting small-business export sales -- also an Ex-Im record. Ex-Im Bank's total authorizations are supporting an estimated $41 billion in U.S. export sales and approximately 290,000 American jobs in communities across the country. For more information, visit www.exim.gov.