September 16, 2019
Fast Facts
Bringing Business Up to Speed
Top Stories

Employers push Congress to reauthorize Ex-Im Bank by Sept. 30

Now’s the time for AWB members and other employers to contact Congress and urge them to reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank. The bank’s charter expires Sept. 30.

“The Ex-Im Bank, which provides and guarantees loans to help foreign entities make purchases from U.S. companies, is particularly important in our state, where an estimated 40 percent of all jobs are tied in some fashion to international trade,” The Columbian wrote in a recent editorial calling for Congress to immediately re-authorize the Ex-Im Bank.

AWB President Kris Johnson emphasized that point in a recent op-ed sent to several state newspapers, noting that Ex-Im has helped 180 Washington companies bring their products to foreign markets in the last decade. Small-business transactions made up 76% of Washington's Ex-Im use.

Despite a major drop in lending recently while the bank lacked a working quorum, more than 25,000 Washington jobs were connected to exports supported by the bank, the Washington Council on International Trade reports.

Manufacturing leaders in the nation’s capital are working on the issue too. Jay Timmons of the National Association of Manufacturers met with Ex-Im Chairman and President Kimberly A. Reed last week to press the issue.

“Over the past several years, the Export-Import Bank has fueled over 1.7 million jobs and empowered manufacturers in America to more aggressively compete against the more than 100 foreign export credit agencies seeking to grow their economies at the expense of ours,” Timmons said. “Manufacturers have had a strong partner in Chairman Reed and look forward to working with her to continue to boost exports and strengthen manufacturing in America.”

The bank was routinely reauthorized for decades with bipartisan support. But it’s become a “political football” in recent years, The Columbian wrote in its recent editorial, despite the bank's support for hundreds of small businesses like Northwest Natural Products and the Neil Jones Food Company, both in Clark County.

AWB and NAM are among 200 business groups working on the bank’s reauthorization. To learn more or get involved, please contact AWB’s Amy Anderson at

« Back to Main
Renew Ex-Im Now

Help Washington growers, manufacturers get their products to the world

By AWB President Kris Johnson

Washington is the most trade-driven station in the nation per-capita, with more than 40% of our jobs connected in some way to trade. Manufactured goods make up 82% of our state's exports and Washington is the third-largest exporter of food and agriculture products in the country.

That's why it's critically important that Congress and the presidential administration renew the charter for the Export-Import Bank, which is set to expire at the end of September.

The Ex-Im Bank is an independent federal agency that provides export credit to oversees purchasers of U.S. goods and services. It contributes to the economy by supporting American jobs, and it doesn't cost taxpayers anything. Since 2000, the Ex-Im Bank has provided nearly $15 billion to the U.S. Treasury...

Read the full column in The Wenatchee Valley Business World
Ideas for Career-Connected Learning

How Vocational Education Got a 21st Century Reboot

With schools across 10 states, the P-TECH program prepares its students for good jobs that corporations pay well for.

The P-TECH idea was invented in 2010, when then-IBM CEO Sam Palmisano was chatting up his friend Joel Klein, then New York City's schools chancellor. During a rain delay at the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Palmisano told Klein that the tech industry was having trouble finding young people with the skills it needed. Klein proposed opening a six-year school with the City University of New York and curriculum input from IBM. Students could work IBM internships and, if they passed a company certification test, would be first in line for job interviews at IBM. Palmisano agreed. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the plan in September 2010 and gave the partners a year to open the school.

When Klein and Palmisano shook on the deal, vocational education was just beginning to emerge from the academic backwater where it had languished for decades. Conceived a century ago so high school students could learn a trade if they weren't going to college, vocational education had developed a reputation as a dumping ground for students who weren't doing well in regular academics. Harvard's influential Pathways to Prosperity report, released in 2011, warned that nearly two-thirds of new jobs of the 2010s would require more than a high school education -- yet only 40 percent of Americans had obtained a bachelor's degree or associate's degree by their mid-20s.

By contrast, the report noted, 40 to 70 percent of high school kids in many European countries spent three years in career programs that combined classroom and workplace experience, where they earned diplomas or certificates strongly valued in the labor market...

Read the full report in Politico