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Nate Muncaster (far left) responds to a question from moderator Luis Noriega.

The Greater Irving-Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce hosted a well-attended business briefing on the Export-Import Bank of the United States and its important role in international trade, job creation and job growth in North Texas and around the state.

The Export-Import Bank of the United States is the official export credit agency of the United States. The Bank’s mission is to assist in financing the export of U.S. goods and services to international markets. The Bank is in a fight for its existence with its reauthorization from Congress due for a vote later this year.

More than 65 North Texas business leaders attended a business briefing at the Irving Chamber on April 15.

Expert panelists included Scott P. Schloegel, senior vice president of congressional affairs for the Export-Import Bank of the United States; David Ickert, vice president of finance for Air Tractor, Inc.; Luis Noriega, vice president of export finance advisory for North America J.P. Morgan; Kelly Kemp, regional director of the Southwest Regional Office of Export-Import Bank of the United States; Kathy Jiang, senior vice president at Bank of Texas; and Nate Muncaster, global business development director at Polyguard Products.

The panel discussed the importance of Congress reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank before funding expires on September 30, 2014.

Luis Noriega (second from left) responds to a question from an audience member at the Chamber's Business Briefing on the Export-Import Bank of the United States.

Luis Noriega (second from left) responds to a question from an audience member at the Chamber’s Business Briefing on the Export-Import Bank of the United States.

“This is government at its best,” said Kelly Kemp, panelist and regional director of the Southwest Regional Office of Export-Import Bank of the United States. “The Bank operates without taxpayer funds, and it’s here to level the playing field, here to support U.S. jobs and grow U.S. jobs.”

“In FY 2013, 90 percent of all Ex-Im transactions supported U.S. small businesses, and the default rate on Ex-Im loans was less than one percent, said Scott Schloegel, senior vice president of congressional affairs for Ex-Im Bank.”

In the past five years, the Ex-Im Bank has financed $19.4 billion in Texas exports, created 3,600 jobs in Irving, 9,136 jobs in the Greater Dallas area and 143,000 jobs around the state.

If the bank is not reauthorized by Congress this year, many jobs could be lost, said panelists.

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Attendees met with panelists following the Business Briefing of the Export-Import Bank of the United States.

Myths and facts about the work of the Ex-Im Bank were discussed by panelists, including the fact that the Ex-Im Bank does not compete with the private sector. Ex-Im Bank finances two percent of U.S. exports, while 98 percent are financed through normal banking channels.

Panelists urged business leaders in attendance to make their voices heard in Congress by expressing their need and use of the Ex-Im Bank.

For more information about the Export-Import Bank of the United States, visit the Irving Chamber’s Legislative Action Center at irvingchamber.com/connect/get-involved/governmental-affairs/export-import-bank-of-the-united-states/ or eximbank.gov.

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