The Greater Irving-Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce held an industry update for North Texas suppliers on the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank of the United States. The event took place on August 18, 2014 at the Omni Mandalay Hotel – Las Colinas.

One hundred aerospace suppliers from across North Texas attended. GE, Boeing and Aviall partnered to host the supplier conference and discuss the importance of reauthorization of Ex-Im Bank.

“A top priority for Aviall is the opportunity to build awareness and share information with our lawmakers on how critical the re-authorization of the Export-Import Bank is as an essential economic tool for all U.S. exporters,” said Edward  P. Dolanski, president and CEO of Aviall Inc. “Aviall’s international expansion and growth — and ability to compete in the global marketplace — depends on all U.S. suppliers having access to strong economic tools like the Export-Import Bank.”

Since 2007, Texas exporters have sold $21 billion in overseas sales including $4 billion last year using Ex-Im financing. In Irving alone, companies used Ex-Im financing to close more than $257 million in exports during the last seven years.

“The reauthorization of Ex-Im bank’s charter is critical to giving small and medium-sized U.S. companies a fighting chance in the international marketplace. The Greater Irving-Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce is committed to the success of the Ex-Im bank because our members need access to the bank’s low cost financing to level the playing field globally,” said Beth Bowman, president and CEO of the Greater Irving-Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce. “Without this financial resource, Irving’s businesses will find it more difficult to compete and grow, and that has significant implications to our City and citizens. That’s why every citizen has a vested interest in the continued success of the Ex-Im bank.”

In North Texas, the aerospace industrial base is a major employer and customer of the bank, but other companies outside of the aerospace industry, that utilize the bank, attended the conference as well.

“Last year, Texas sold $279 billion in goods overseas, making it the top exporting state in the country. These sales have driven our economic growth, which has been twice the national average in recent years,” said Bill Hammond, CEO of the Texas Association of Business.

“Boeing Commercial Airplanes and its tiered supplier network make up significant customer composition for Fitz Aerospace. Here in North Texas, 130 Fitz employees are dedicated to serving the aerospace industry,” said Monty Gillespie, president of Fitz Aerospace. “Fitz is dependent on the U.S. remaining the world leader in supplying parts to the international aviation marketplace.  Obviously, our company wants and needs Boeing and its supplier network to continue receiving Ex-Im Bank benefit to support U.S. small and middle market manufacturing.”

Following the supplier conference, Hammond moderated the Irving Chamber’s inaugural Congressional Roundtable with Congressman Marc Veasey, Congressman Pete Sessions and Congressman Kenny Marchant. More than 200 from the local, county and state level were in attendance.

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