Posted at 5:09 PM
Guest blog post by Jim McNerney, Chairman and CEO of the Boeing Company and the Chairman of the President’s Export Council.
Boeing is proud to be part of a U.S. aerospace industry that helped make our country the world’s leading manufacturing and military-diplomatic power of the 20th Century. America can reclaim the former and maintain the latter for the 21st Century, but only with public policies that allow U.S. businesses to grow exports through greater access to the global marketplace. The Trans-Pacific Partnership and U.S. Export-import Bank are two timely examples.
Expanded trade means expanded opportunities for everyone. Free Trade Agreements level the playing field with overseas competitors who, in most cases, are already exporting goods to the U.S. under favorable terms. The Trans-Pacific Partnership extends these benefits by eliminating tariffs, enhancing customs enforcement, and harmonizing disparate regulations between the U.S., Canada, and ten other Latin American and Asian nations.
Establishing and enforcing rules of international commerce is vitally important to America’s continued prosperity and influence because in many respects the global market for American manufacturers—from passenger jets to satellites to tractors—is not a level playing field. U.S. producers, in aviation especially, are not just competing against companies from other nations; we’re typically competing against other governments, as well, that provide generous financial assistance to their domestic industries.
To take full advantage of the opportunities offered by free trade while remedying the inequities that still exist for U.S. companies, we also need the continued operation of the U.S. Export-Import Bank, a federal agency that guarantees loans taken out by foreign companies so those companies can purchase American-made goods. In a world in which nearly 60 countries provide some kind of official credit assistance – at significantly higher levels than the U.S. when measured against the size of their economies – Ex-Im gives American businesses and workers a fighting chance against foreign competitors.
Without Ex-Im, the U.S. will lose influence over international export credit arrangements that provide at least some constraint on the level of support foreign governments provide to their domestic industries. U.S. manufacturers will be hard-pressed to retain the global market share we have currently, much less attract new customers, with American workers and communities paying the price. That is why a long-term authorization of the Export-Import Bank is so important – to provide the certainty and incentive for international customers to keep buying American goods and supporting American jobs.