Tough Landing

Published: Aug. 1, 2015 at 3:22 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

Air Tractor of Olney may have to lay off employees if one government agency is not re-authorized.

It all centers around the Export-Import(Ex-Im) Bank. At the end of June Congress allowed the Ex-Im to expire. For companies like Air Tractor it can hurt finances. 

"We do not have the ability right now to access the Export Import bank to facilitate our export import sales," said David Ickert Chief Financial Officer for Air Tractor. 

Air Tractor could see those export sales or about 25% of their business virtually disappear if the bank is not re-authorized. The Congressional Finance Committee has the authority to extend the authorization of the Ex-Im Bank but many of the members, including Congressman Randy Neugebauer, who represents Young County, have refused to allow or support any re-authorization or extension of the Ex-Im. 
In a statement to Newschannel6 Congressman Neugebauer writes. 

    "At a time when the American economy continues to experience one of the weakest recoveries of the Modern Era, I'm focused on pro-growth policies that expand opportunity for all Americans and allow our economy to grow from Main Street up, not Washington down. The Export-Import Bank empowers federal government bureaucrats to manage our local economy in Texas by picking winners and losers from Washington. For every company in my district that benefits from cheaper taxpayer-backed financing, another small business in my district is put at a competitive disadvantage. This is no way to get our entire economy back on track. Most egregiously, the Congressional Budget Office estimates the Bank to cost taxpayers $2 billion over 10 years. Taxpayers are even forced to take on the risk for the Bank's deals with foreign governments like China and Russia. For these reasons, myself, and a majority of the majority of Republicans in the House continue to oppose the reauthorization of the Bank. I look forward to working with my colleagues to continue to pursue policies that reduce the regulatory burden, lower taxes, and benefit every individual and family across the 19th District of Texas and our nation." - Congressman Randy Neugebauer (TX-19) 

Click HERE for a link to the Congressional Budget Office Report on the Export-Import Bank.

According to the Export - Import website nearly 90% of the agency transactions directly supported 3,340 small businesses across the nation, including Air Tractor. In 2014 the bank $27 billion of U.S. exports at no cost to the American taxpayer. On Sunday the Senate voted to reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank. Congressional leaders left the capital Wednesday for a five week long recess. Meaning any chance of the Ex-Im to be re-authorized must now wait until September. 

"So it puts 25% percent of our sales 25% of our jobs at risk and that has been communicated to Congressman Negaubeaur. It does not seem to have much impact on his position on this. In summary, it is nearly like the house wants to export jobs now and no American products because that is exactly the impact that will be felt," said Ickert. 

According to Ickert Air Tractor will be able to subsidize the temporary financial loss for a few months. No one at the company will be let go or terminated for financial reasons in the near future. However, Ickert said that if the Ex-Im is not re-authorized within the next few months as many as 60-80 people could see their jobs virtually disappear. 

Jack Carney, Newschannel6