[Via Satellite 10-06-2015] In light of lost sales to satellite manufacturers in the United States, the Satellite Industry Association (SIA) is urging Congress to reauthorize the Export Import Bank of the United States in order to restore Export Credit Agency (ECA) funding. Tom Stroup issued a statement to Congress highlighting the impact of Ex-Im bank’s absence.
“As lost opportunities for domestic commercial satellite manufacturers continue to mount, SIA urges Congressional leadership to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank). Without Ex-Im Bank, U.S. commercial satellite manufacturers are increasingly uncompetitive in a global marketplace where foreign buyers account for roughly 75 percent of all commercial satellite sales,” he said.
After the July 1 lapse of Ex-Im Bank’s charter, three satellite deals — two for Boeing and one for Orbital ATK — have fallen through. In many bids, ECA funding is considered a prerequisite, thus ruling out U.S. manufacturers from competing.
“Since 2010, Ex-Im has financed 16 satellite projects worth $4 billion, supporting tens of thousands of U.S. jobs. Satellites had been Ex-Im’s fastest-growing category of financial activity, expanding from about $50 million annually in 2007 to 2009 to more than $1 billion annually in the last three years. This activity has generated a net profit for the Ex-Im bank, returning funds to U.S. taxpayers,” said Stroup. “Our industry can dominate the market if Congress ensures a level playing field with European satellite manufacturers, all of which have access to foreign ECA support. Congress must reauthorize Ex-Im as quickly as possible.”