November 6, 2015
Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a six-year transportation bill. The bill, H.R. 3763, also contained language renewing the Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank’s charter. The Senate passed a similar transportation bill in July. Next, House and Senate negotiators will meet to reconcile the differences in the two bills.
This is a huge step forward, especially for Caterpillar. Transportation infrastructure – whether we’re enabling it through our products or relying on it to serve our customers – is essential to Caterpillar’s business. Caterpillar machines are involved in constructing nearly every aspect of our transportation infrastructure. Caterpillar is also one of the biggest users of the nation’s surface transportation system. Caterpillar relies on thousands of trucks, trains and ships to move our products, parts and components around the country – and throughout the world. But for us, it’s not just about selling more machines. It’s about the drag our poor infrastructure has on the U.S. economy, our ability to efficiently import and export our products, and the adverse impact it has on U.S. competitiveness overall.
“We commend the House for approving a long-term reauthorization of U.S. surface transportation infrastructure programs,” said Doug Oberhelman, Chairman and CEO of Caterpillar Inc. and chair of the Business Roundtable infrastructure initiative. “There’s no doubt the U.S. economy will benefit from a long-term commitment to renew and build the infrastructure that keeps our country moving and moving forward. We will continue to work with Congress and the Administration to ensure a long-term surface transportation bill is signed into law this year.”
Ex-Im is an important tool to support customers outside of the United States, complementing Caterpillar Financial Services. The Ex-Im Bank plays a critical role in leveling the global playing field by providing competitive financing to customers of U.S. exporters. The Bank’s charter expired on July 1. Since then, the Bank has had restricted operations. Fortunately Caterpillar customers whose financing had been fully approved continue as if nothing changed. However, the Bank will not be permitted to process new credit applications until reauthorization is passed by Congress.
Both transportation infrastructure funding and the renewal of the Ex-Im Bank could mean big opportunities for Big Yellow. For more specifics, take a look at the Bloomberg Politics article about what Caterpillar could gain from transportation infrastructure funding.