Put Ohio factory jobs first - reject Scott Garrett as head of the Ex-Im Bank: Eric Burkland and Jay Timmons (Opinion)

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Scott Garrett's nomination to lead the U.S. Export-Import Bank jeopardizes billions of dollars in

put-ohio-factory-jobs-first-reject-scott-garrett-as-head-of-the-exim-bank-eric-burkland-and-jay-timmons-opinion photo 1Eric Burkland heads the Ohio Manufacturers' Association. 

Ohio's manufacturing workers made their voices heard in the last election. Since Election Day, their concerns and priorities have driven the agenda in Washington, D.C., in Congress and in the White House. As a result, manufacturing workers are energized about the future -- optimistic about the direction of our rapidly modernizing industry and thankful to have a champion in the White House.

But one recent development in our nation's capital should have manufacturing workers deeply concerned: the nominee to be president and chairman of the U.S. Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank. This one appointment could jeopardize billions of dollars in manufacturing sales and millions of jobs.

The nominee in question is Scott Garrett, a defeated former congressman from New Jersey. When in Congress, he made it his mission to destroy the Ex-Im Bank. In fact, as a congressman, Garrett voted to kill the Ex-Im Bank every chance he got -- more than a dozen times in all. He urged his colleagues to "keep the Export-Import Bank out of business."

put-ohio-factory-jobs-first-reject-scott-garrett-as-head-of-the-exim-bank-eric-burkland-and-jay-timmons-opinion photo 2Jay Timmons leads the National Association of Manufacturers. 

Yet, Garrett wasn't just voting against some do-nothing federal agency. He was voting against millions of manufacturing workers and their jobs. He was voting to send American jobs and wealth overseas.

The Ex-Im Bank helps manufacturers large and small get the financial tools they need to sell their products to customers in other countries while securing jobs at home.

The Ex-Im Bank has facilitated $2 billion in export sales from Ohio since 2012, supporting 11,934 manufacturing workers. Nationally, it secured 1.4 million jobs for American manufacturing workers over the past eight years.

Manufacturing workers simply can't be confident that the Ex-Im Bank will be as strong and supportive as it could be with Garrett at the helm. And why should they be? This is a politician who tried over and over again to shut down the agency and destroy this essential tool for manufacturers. Why should anyone believe that his positions will change, that a former enemy of the agency will now become its hero?

Ohio companies need the Ex-Im Bank to compete and win in global marketplace: Richard D. Rogovin (Opinion)

President Donald Trump has offered a strong manufacturing agenda -- bold tax reform that will secure jobs for manufacturing workers, regulatory relief that will allow manufacturing companies to expand and support their communities and infrastructure investment that will keep our families safer and get our products to customers faster.

Garrett as leader of the Ex-Im Bank does not fit with this agenda. Through his opposition, he has shown that his own political ideology comes before the livelihoods of manufacturing workers and their families.

As President Trump knows, manufacturers' decisions to invest and create jobs are motivated largely by our confidence in our future -- confidence that there will be customers and demand for the products we make.

That confidence depends on a strong and fully functional Ex-Im Bank. Unless Garrett wants to undermine manufacturers' confidence and President Trump's manufacturing agenda, he needs to step aside. If he really wants to go back to Washington that badly, then he should look for a different job -- one that he is qualified to do. This is not that job.

If there are smart reforms that can be made at the Ex-Im Bank, that's fine. But Garrett's record indicates he has no appetite for smart reforms. It's an all-or-nothing game for him, and he has no interest in the facts. He ignores the fact that the Ex-Im Bank is transparent and accountable and returns a profit to the U.S. Treasury -- actually saving taxpayers money.

Most importantly, the Ex-Im Bank is the most effective tool to level the playing field when we're competing against other countries for business deals. At least 85 foreign government export-credit agencies -- other countries' versions of the Ex-Im Bank -- are working aggressively to support their manufacturers. Manufacturing workers in the United States should not be at a disadvantage to those in China or Germany, for example, just because Garrett has an ax to grind.

That is why we are going to keep speaking out until the Senate rejects this nomination or Scott Garrett is removed from consideration. American manufacturing workers' jobs should be placed above Scott Garrett's own ambitions.

Eric Burkland is president of the Ohio Manufacturers' Association. Jay Timmons is president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers.


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Article Put Ohio factory jobs first - reject Scott Garrett as head of the Ex-Im Bank: Eric Burkland and Jay Timmons (Opinion) compiled by Original article here