DETROIT (WWJ) – In an uncommon display of bi-partisanship, Michigan’s Republican governor joined area Democratic congressional members in announcing a boost to small businesses trying to tap into overseas markets.

The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank), a federal agency that provides credit assistance and promotion of U.S. exports, is opening a regional finance center in Detroit’s Tech town.

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, a member of the president’s export council, said she expects this to help Michigan double their exports by 2015. “For every $1 billion in goods and services that are exported we create 7,000 jobs,” she said, speaking Monday, among state, federal, state and local officials at the Detroit Regional Chamber headquarters in downtown Detroit.

Congressman Gary Peters said it makes small businesses a bigger part of Michigan economic resurgence.

“And that’s how we know we really grow the greater Detroit area — we diversify our economy,” Peters said. “We increase opportunities for small businesses to sell products, and very innovative products.”

Congressman John Dingell said the agency will help break down barriers to providing lines of credit to those small businesses, allowing them to grow and create more jobs in Michigan.

“And we see to it that trade discrimination against our industry and a lack of knowledge by our industry on how to export and how to penetrate these foreign markets is something that is going to be a matter of the past,” Dingell said.

Metro Detroit is already the nation’s fourth largest exporting region.


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