Sen. McCaskill visits company in the East Bottoms

Joe Jarosz
Northeast News
Aug. 27, 2014

Sen. Claire McCaskill with Brian Laures of Western Forms Inc., touring the company grounds.

Sen. Claire McCaskill with Brian Laures of Western Forms Inc., touring the company grounds.

KANSAS CITY, Missouri — Before an important Senate vote in September, one Missouri Senator is making the rounds and visiting small businesses across the state that could potentially be affected by the outcome of the vote.

On Wednesday afternoon, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill toured the Kansas City, Mo., business Western Forms, Inc., met with executives, and held a press conference to rally support for the job-creating benefits of the Export-Import Bank ahead of a crucial Senate vote this fall. McCaskill also spoke with employees on how their company has been positively impacted by the bank, and discussed ways the bank’s funding has allowed them to create jobs in Missouri and compete in the global marketplace.

Without Congressional action, the authorization for the Export-Import Bank is set to expire on September 30. According to McCaskill, the Export-Import Bank supports American jobs by helping finance foreign sales of U.S. products through loan guarantees, direct loans, and credit insurance, all at no cost to taxpayers. Since 2009, the Export-Import Bank has supported $188 billion in U.S. exports and 1.2 million American jobs. The Export-Import Bank has supported $1 billion in exports from 96 Missouri companies since 2007. Nearly 85 percent of businesses supported by the Export-Import Bank are small and medium-sized businesses.

“This is incredibly important to our economy and our profile in the world,” McCaskill said. “I thought it was important, as part of my work in Missouri during the summer to travel around and talk to some of the businesses that are on the front lines of exporting products to other countries and find out how they felt about the assistance of the Export-Import Bank.”

McCaskill went on to quote former president Ronald Reagan by saying, “exports create and sustain jobs for millions of American workers and contribute to the growth and strength of the United States Economy. The Export-Import Bank contributes in a significant way to our nation’s export sales.” Historically, she said, the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank has not been controversial in this country. However, times have changed.

“The Tea Party is single handily blocking the reauthorization of what should be very non-controversial,” McCaskill said. “The Tea Party has gotten the leadership in the House [of Representatives] so frightened about their success as politicians that they are willing to move down the importance of free market businesses in this country.”

Since 1962, Western Forms, Inc. has manufactured aluminum forming systems that are used in residential and commercial cast-in-place concrete building construction. The third-generation Missouri family company, founded in 1955, has 150 employees.

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