U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Maria Cantwell Visit Bob’s Red Mill to Promote Export Agency

Portland, OR – U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) toured Bob’s Red Mill in Milwaukie, OR today and called on Congress to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank before the June 30, 2015 deadline. Bob’s Red Mill has been able to expand into new markets and grow their company with the support of Export-Import Bank investments.

Unless Congress takes action, the Export-Import Bank is set to expire on June 30, which will stop its investments in the thousands of U.S. exporters that benefit from this self-supported export credit agency. U.S. exporters across the country depend on financing through the Export-Import Bank to access the 95% of customers who live outside the United States. The Export-Import Bank makes money for taxpayers, returning $675 million to the U.S. Treasury last year. Senator Merkley has joined Senator Cantwell, who has led the fight in the Senate for a long-term reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank, in calling for Congressional action before the bank’s authorization expires at the end of the month. 

By equipping American businesses with the financial resources they need to compete in the global market, the Export-Import Bank levels the playing field for U.S. goods and services,” said Merkley. “In Oregon alone, over the last eight years, the Bank has supported 88 companies – 67 of which are small businesses – and 6,815 jobs. These numbers underscore how absurd it is that some in Congress want this bank, which not only pays for itself but generates a profit, to disappear.  We are 11 days away from the Export-Import Bank expiring. Now is the time for Congress to step up and reauthorize this crucial program.”

“Small businesses rely on the Export Import Bank to help finance deals in foreign markets where there are growing economic opportunities and inherent business risks.  If we let the agency expire we will be putting American businesses at a competitive disadvantage to foreign competitors who have similar agencies in their markets.   With American businesses and jobs at stake, I will continue to fight for reauthorization of Ex-Im,” Cantwell said.  

“The Export Import Bank has played a key role in keeping Bob’s Red Mill competitive in important export markets.  Bob’s Red Mill is a USA manufacturing company employing more than 350 people in the Portland, Oregon area and we have numerous broker representatives employed all over the country and the world supporting our efforts,” said Bob Moore, Founder of Bob’s Red Mill. “Because of the help from the EXIM Bank, we now have 12 customers on credit ranging from $10,000 to $300,000.  This government program is easy to manage and we have increased export sales 35% over previous year.”

In Oregon alone, since 2007 the Export-Import Bank has supported 6,815 Oregon jobs by helping 88 Oregon businesses, including 67 small businesses, export $1 billion worth of goods and products made in Oregon. 

An employee-owned company since 2009, Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods produces more than 400 products, including a full line of certified glutenfree products and an extensive line of certified organic products. With a wide variety of whole grain products, from flours and hot cereals to baking mixes and grains, Bob’s Red Mill has “whole grain foods for every meal of the day.” Bob’s Red Mill is the nation’s leader in stone milling whole grains. With all the sophisticated knowledge of recent times, no machinery has yet been developed that grinds grains into flour as well as these slow-turning, flint-hard quartz millstones of the kind used by millers since ancient times. 

In 2014, the Export-Import Bank supported 3,340 small-business transactions, $27 billion in total U.S. export sales and 164,000 jobs. Congress has until June 30th to extend the agency charter to avoid its expiration.