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NH business leaders are seeking reauthorization of Ex-Im Bank

By MEGHAN PIERCE
Union Leader Correspondent

May 28. 2015 9:02PM
U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster, D-NH, met with business leaders Thursday, including Jim Geary, executive vice president of New Hampshire Ball Bearings of Peterborough and Michael Boyle of Boyle Energy Services of Manchester. (MEGHAN PIERCE/Union Leader Correspondent)

PETERBOROUGH — The looming deadline to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank, which expires at the end of June, is already affecting New Hampshire businesses, business leaders told U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster and Export-Import Bank chief of staff Scott Schloegel on Thursday.

“So if we don’t have one of the reauthorization bills passed by then, then we would have to stop issuing any new transactions of any kinds,” Schloegel said.

Schloegel said he knows of many projects that would not go forward if the bank is allowed to expire, including a $668 million clean drinking water project in Cameroon and GE’s $350 million locomotive deal in Angola.

Kuster, who is calling for the bank’s immediate reauthorization, hosted a roundtable discussion with local business leaders Thursday at New Hampshire Ball Bearings in Peterborough.

“My intention in all of this is to bring attention to all these companies that are making things from the most sophisticated ball bearings to T-shirts and everything in between,” said Kuster, a Democrat who represents District 2.

New Hampshire Ball Bearings does not export its products, but many of its customers, such Boeing and GE, do.

“You’re what we call hidden exporters,” Schloegel said. “Being from Michigan, we always said: ‘When the auto industry sneezes the rest of the state gets a cold.’ And when you get those big industries like Boeing and GE that sneeze, it trickles down.”

The expiration of the bank has been causing concern for Marlborough T-shirt company The Mountain Corp., said Kirianna Howard, director of international sales and exports.

The Mountain, which is known as the maker of the Three Wolf Moon T-shirt, exports a great deal to Europe and China, Howard said.

The Export-Import Bank is a “hidden gem” that allows The Mountain to extend credit to international accounts, Howard said.

Michael Boyle, CEO of Boyle Energy Services & Technology Inc. in Manchester, said his company has close to 60 employees in New Hampshire and is buying a 70,000-square-foot facility in Merrimack this week.

“We have lots of concerns about our ability to go forward because almost all of our relationships are all off-shore, are tied to our ability to maintain support credit and support the insurance facility that we have currently through Ex-Im Bank,” Boyle said. “The jobs that I have added in the last six months were all predicated on this, and we were going to continue on.”

Boyle said he is testifying in Washington, D.C., about the Export-Import Bank on Tuesday.

Boyle told Kuster he is a “highly active conservative Republican ... but I love the fact that you are a patriot for New Hampshire, and I fully support you as our representative.”

Supporting the Ex-Im Bank is neither a Republican nor Democrat issue, he said.

Kuster agreed, and said the Ex-Im Bank ensures that products, not profits, go overseas.

mpierce@newstote.com


Business Politics Peterborough