Recent Press Releases

Apr 30 2012

Senator Johnson Tours South Dakota Firefighting Equipment Manufacturing Plant

Highlights importance of Export-Import Bank to South Dakota Workforce

LYONS, SD – Today, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D-SD) toured Rosenbauer America, a worldwide leader in manufacturing firefighting equipment. While touring the facility, Senator Johnson stressed the need to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank, which helps American companies like Rosenbauer export their goods and services around the world and supports nearly 300,000 U.S. jobs.

“It is wonderful to see all the great work being done here in South Dakota, and I thank Harold and Helen for hosting me today,” said Senator Johnson.  “Rosenbauer’s firefighting technology is very impressive, but I would expect nothing less from our talented South Dakota workforce. Today’s visit gave me a firsthand perspective on why it is important for Congress to do all it can to help support American manufacturers who are creating good-paying jobs here at home, including by supporting the reauthorization of the Ex-Im Bank.”

The tour was led by Harold and Helen Boer, President and owners of Rosenbauer America. The company currently exports approximately 35-40 percent of the fire trucks produced in Lyons and employs about 270 workers.

The Export-Import Bank is the official export credit agency of the United States and it assists in financing exports to international markets.  For more than 77 years, the Ex-Im Bank has helped American businesses like Rosenbauer sell their goods and services abroad.  Over the last several years, the Bank has provided Rosenbauer with financing to enable it to export millions of dollars’ worth of equipment to buyers all over the world. 

The Ex-Im Bank is self-funding, charging interest and fees to its customers and turns a profit for American taxpayers. Overall, the Ex-Im Bank has returned nearly $2 billion to the U.S. Treasury since 2008.

However, the Bank’s charter is set to expire at the end of May and unless Congress acts, nearly 300,000 American jobs could be at risk.  Last year, the Banking Committee unanimously approved a bill Senator Johnson authored that would keep the Bank operating for another four years and make important reforms.  Unfortunately, Senate Republicans blocked its passage in March.

“I haven’t given up and I remain hopeful that we will be able pass a bill to allow the Ex-Im Bank to continue to promote U.S exports and support American jobs,” Senator Johnson concluded. 

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