Bennet, Denver Business Call on Congress to Reauthorize Export-Import Bank

Bank That Supports Colorado Business Efforts to Export Products to Shut Down Next Month Without Congressional Action

Ex-Im Bank Backed Nearly $60 Million in Assistance to Colorado Businesses 2011-2012

Denver, CO – Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet toured a Denver manufacturing facility today to highlight the need to reauthorize the Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank. Bennet visited and talked with staff at Coolerado, which designs and manufactures energy-efficient air conditioners using evaporative-cooling techniques, instead of traditional chemical refrigerants.

For more than 75 years, the Export-Import Bank of the United States has been our country’s official export credit agency, and it helps to finance the export of U.S. products to markets abroad. Without Congressional action, the Ex-Im bank’s authority will expire at the end of next month.

“The Ex-Im Bank has helped Colorado companies expand, open up new markets abroad and create jobs here at home,” said Bennet. “Coolerado delivers a unique, energy-efficient technology that has the potential to save its customers money on cooling costs. It’s the perfect example of a young company that can broaden its reach with the bank’s help so it can continue to grow and thrive.”

“Reauthorizing the Ex-Im Bank is a common-sense, fiscally responsible way to help businesses in Colorado and across the country. At times like these, it is more important than ever that we have such a dependable lending resource to help us compete in the global economy and keep jobs in the United States.”

The Ex-Im Bank has been an important lending source for Colorado businesses looking to expand to new markets. Since the beginning of 2011, the Ex-Im Bank backed nearly $60 million in loans to Colorado businesses, including nearly $600,000 for Coolerado through the bank's Credit Insurance Program. In that time, the loans to Colorado businesses helped support nearly $160 million in export sales.

Coolerado’s award-winning air conditioning units—which use about one-tenth of the electricity of traditional systems and no CFC refrigerants—have been exported to 25 different countries. Coolerado is an active user of the Ex-Im Bank’s Credit Insurance Program, which provides protection for their exports against unforeseen circumstances. The program has made Coolerado more competitive and has helped the company broaden its sales.

The bipartisan Export-Import Bank Reauthorization Act extends the bank’s lending authority for another four years and expands the lending and guarantee authority by $40 billion , so it can provide loans to more American companies that want to reach markets abroad. It is supported by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable, the National Association of Manufacturers, the Machinist Union and the United Steelworkers.

Bennet secured a provision in the bill to encourage the Ex-Im Bank to increase financing of exports for renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies, like those Coolerado manufactures. His provision also requires the bank to work to identify and break down barriers preventing it from increasing financing of environmentally-friendly technologies.

Bennet also emphasized the need to reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank during a visit to Sandhill Scientific today in Highlands Ranch. Sandhill Scientific, which designs and develops medical monitoring and detection equipment for gastrointestinal ailments, has received $5.86 million from the Ex-Im Bank since 2010.