April 11, 2016
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Ex-Im Bank hampered by Senate's hold on board of director nominees

U.S. Senate Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby last week said he is “in no hurry” to move forward on a vote for a nominee to the Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank’s Board of Directors. The board doesn’t have a quorum, and so can’t approve deals over $10 million.

"I have some fundamental differences about the ... Export-Import Bank, about the role it plays, the role it should play, or not play, and so forth," Shelby said, according to Politico. "So, I'm in no hurry to move those nominations."

"You never rule out anything, but I wouldn't move them, okay?" he added.

While that’s bad news for exporters who sell American-made goods around the world with loan guarantees from the bank, Sen. Lindsey Graham said talks are ongoing.

"I think the Congress has spoken here that we see the value of the bank to the American economy, and I hope we can find a way forward to make the bank operational," he said.

The stalemate threatens to cost Boeing sales to foreign customers, CEO Dennis Muilenburg said last week. The biggest hit to the economy would come in the Puget Sound region, because the vast majority of Boeing’s planes are made and exported from here, The Puget Sound Business Journal reports, noting that the loss of Ex-Im financing would give Boeing’s competitor Airbus an advantage in the global market.

Experts say that if Boeing self-financed its export sales, it would drain resources away from product development, Reuters reports.

AWB continues to work with leaders on both sides of the aisle to get this important part of America’s manufacturing and export economy back up to full speed. Contact AWB’s government affairs director for federal issues, Amy Anderson, to learn more.

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Let's Seek Solutions Together

It's time to move forward on charter schools

By Robin Lake, director of the Center on Reinventing Public Education and an affiliate faculty member at the University of Washington Bothell

Charter schools aren't some magic solution. But they are proving themselves a valued component of 21st-century public schooling by demonstrating what's possible when schools are freed from certain rules and regulations in exchange for being held accountable for student outcomes. Far from a distraction, charter schools are here to stay. Far from damaging public education, when ably implemented, charter schools enrich and strengthen the fabric of public education.

It is time to move on and focus on students, not battle lines...
Click here to read the full op-ed in The Seattle Times
Workers Needed for Good Jobs

A job in the trades can bring financial, personal success

By Mike Sotelo, co-founder of the Combined Ethnic Chamber

A four-year apprenticeship program can equal or exceed the earning potential of a postsecondary degree. An apprentice electrician earns $19 an hour, which can be achieved the first year out of high school. By the time an electrician completes a five-year apprenticeship program, he or she could be making close to $100,000 a year.

Unfortunately, every time trade employers need workers, they scratch their heads and do whatever they can to attract and retain employees to fit their business models. Contractors are hiring anyone who can fog a mirror because there aren't enough bodies...

Shop classes are disappearing because schools are losing funding. The deeper challenge is we need to start instilling pride into the traditional trades. Even when I was young, I used to say, "I am just a construction worker." I almost apologized for it. We have to start recognizing that our society would grind to a halt without skilled carpenters, laborers, chefs and hotel managers...
Click here to read the full op-ed in The Seattle Times
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