Kirk defends positions on Ex-Im Bank renewal, trade-authority bills
U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) visited Boeing Co. on Saturday in St. Louis and explained how the Export-Import Bank and trade keep Boeing, its suppliers and local exporters on a level playing field with global competitors such as China.
“I have broken with many members of my party on this because Illinois is an export state, and American jobs should stay in America,” Kirk said. “We have no excuse to lose the Boeing 737 to China’s C919.”
In March, Kirk introduced a bipartisan bill aimed at reforming and reauthorizing the bank until 2019. Last week, Kirk voted to support legislation to facilitate the Obama administration’s negotiation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, while maintaining Congress’ authority to approve or disapprove of negotiated trade deals.
The bank would help support Boeing’s newest plant in St. Louis, a 367,000-square-foot facility to build parts for the Boeing 777X commercial jet, which is expected to create roughly 700 jobs in the Metro East region.
The top Illinois companies supported by the bank are Boeing Co, CNH Industrial America and Caterpillar.
The bank in 2013 returned more than $1 billion to the U.S. Treasury.