Tough Landing - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Tough Landing

Tough Landing

A major Texoma manufacturer could lose 25% of the employees that work there. Jim Hirsch of Air Tractor in Olney said it all depends on whether or not a federal agency is authorized.

Most people have never heard of the Export Import Bank but each year this government backed agency helps spur hundreds of thousands of jobs and generate hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars in revenue for the country's economy. However, the Republican controlled House Finance recently allowed the Ex-I'm Bank authorization. Hirsch said he is now worried his business could take a huge hit. 

"We have been working to encourage the U.S. Government to reauthorize the bank," said Hirsch. 

Air Tractor caters to mostly farmers that includes those both in an outside the country. Up until recently Hirsch said his company used the Export Import Bank all out of country deals or roughly 25% of his business. 

"The customer actually secures the funding from a domestic us bank and Ex-Im supplying credit insurance for that loan and that sells a lot of our airplanes. Without that bank and those services we do have jobs at risk here in Olney, Texas," said Hirsch. 

About 68 jobs or possibly more could be lost. Phil Jeske is one of Air Tractors Finance Managers. 

"If we cannot get financing for about 25% of our sales, then that puts us of your profits your growth, sales and employees at risk," said Jeske. 
About 3,500 other small businesses in the U.S. use the Ex-Im Bank. Those businesses, then combine to generate nearly $750 million dollars in revenue. 

"The bank returns money to the U.S. Treasury so it immediately adds to the national debt, there is between three quarters of a billion dollars a year in revenue that they return to the treasury that goes away that is just one of many factors," said Hirsch. 

Jeske said people need to be concerned about how this lack of authorization could impact the local town, county and regional economies. 

"It's a very serious issue for us and for other small exporters all over the country and I just I don't feel like the public really understands the impact that this is going to have benefits that it grants our country," said Jeske. 

Air Tractor reps along with reps from those 3,500 other businesses that use the Ex-Im being in the Washington D.C. pushing authorization. 
Many worry that the Republican controlled House Committee in charge of that authorization will not change their stance. 

President Obama is calling for an immediate fast track authorization of the Ex-Im Texas Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn have come out strongly against reauthorization of the Ex-Im Bank. Senator Cruz said he will filibuster if an authorization bill reaches the Senate Floor.

Jack Carney, Newschannel6

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