CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The chairman of the Export-Import Bank of the United States sees a lot of potential for West Virginia’s small businesses in international markets.

“Ninety-five percent of the world’s consumers live outside the United States,” said Fred Hochberg. “So, if you’re not exporting, you’re ignoring 95 percent of your potential customers.”

Hochberg and U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) hosted a forum focused on helping West Virginia’s small business owners expand their businesses beyond the borders of the United States on Monday at the Culture Center in Charleston.

It was part of the Export-Import Bank’s Global Access Forum campaign.

“What we do at the Export-Import Bank is we will insure your receivables,” Hochberg explained on Monday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”

“So, if you ship goods overseas, we’ll write an insurance policy to make sure you get paid. You have fire insurance. You have theft insurance. You get credit insurance. We make it as safe to sell to Brazil or China as it is to sell to Virginia or Tennessee.”

During the past five years, the bank provided $32 million in loans to support $135 million in exports from more than a dozen small businesses in West Virginia.

Manchin said it’s important work.  “I’m trying to reauthorize, keep them in operation,” he said. “I think they do a great job and I think the more West Virginia knows, the more opportunities we will have to create good jobs right here.”

Manchin said forums similar to the one held Monday in Charleston will be scheduled in other parts of West Virginia in the future.

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  • ViennaGuy

    The Export-Import Bank is essentially a government subsidy for US companies that export goods overseas.

    It should be noted that Congressional authorization for the Export-Import Bank is due to expire in September, so this forum is no surprise. The Bank is using taxpayer money to justify its existence and pressure Congress to keep it going.

    You want to talk about corporate welfare, this is one example of it. Why should the taxpayers be on the hook for a US company to get paid for goods and services it sells overseas?