By the Office of Rep. Raul Ruiz, M.D.
On Nov. 15, the House of Representatives passed the “Increasing American Jobs and Exports Act,” a bill by Rep. Raul Ruiz, M.D., D-Palm Desert, that will help grow American jobs, strengthen small businesses, and increase exports of American-made products.
The bill passed as part of H.R. 4863, the “United States Export Finance Agency Act” which reauthorizes the Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank for ten years. Ruiz’s bill would allow the bank to use a percentage of profits — at no cost to the U.S. taxpayer — to open additional regional finance offices around the country, which will help small businesses and small farms succeed by providing capital to expand their exporting capacity and job growth ability.
“The House passage of my bill, the Increasing American Jobs and Exports Act, as an amendment to the U.S. Export Finance Agency Act is a victory for our local economy,” said Ruiz. “I urge the Senate to pass this legislation. If it becomes law, I will advocate to open a U.S. Exports Finance Agency Regional Office in our district, which will help local small businesses export American made goods, grow our economy, and create more jobs.”
Ruiz’s legislation, H.R. 4450, will allow the Ex-Im Bank to use up to 3% of its surplus profits per year for five years to open new Export-Import Regional Finance Offices around the country. The bill passed Friday by voice vote as an amendment to H.R. 4863 the “United States Export Finance Agency Act.”
The Riverside-San Bernardino region ranks 38th nationally — 6th in California — in total export value with nearly $10 billion worth of exported products.
The Coachella Valley is home to more than 12,000 agricultural workers who grow nearly $500 million worth of fruits, nuts, vegetables and melons — all of which rank among California’s top exports.
Riverside County exported agricultural products to more than 50 countries around the globe.
In FY 2018, the Ex-Im Bank helped support $1.1 billion worth of agricultural exports, more than 80% of which came from small businesses.
The Ex-Im Bank supports 590 businesses in California, 473 of which are small businesses.
The Export-Import Regional Finance Office is located in San Diego and serves Riverside County as well as three other California counties and three states — Montana, Wyoming, and Arizona.
H.R. 4863 is supported by AFL-CIO, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, North America’s Building Trade Unions, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the National Association of Manufacturers.
H.R. 4863 provides a long-term 10-year reauthorization of the Ex-Im Bank, increases the bank’s lending authority from $135 billion to $175 billion, creates a comprehensive outreach program to ensure small business owners everywhere are aware of the Ex-Im financing options, creates procedures to avoid a lapse in the board’s quorum and increases the percentage of lending for small businesses from 25% to 30% of the total lending volume.