Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced at the New York Global Summit, “New York is going to be the first state in the nation that forms its own [Export-Import] bank.”
Cuomo began his remarks by acknowledging that, “four years ago New York was not open for business,” because of its high tax rates and “impossible” bureaucracy. The root of the problem, he said, was the state’s “arrogance” in assuming that, “they were the State of New York and businesses had to be here and people had to be here.” (RELATED: Cuomo: ‘I Was Not Saying Anyone Should Leave the State’)
However, “if you look west of New York, you see all of these other shapes. Those are actually other states and they are habitable.” New Yorkers, he asserted, eventually realized that, “if you continued to increase taxes and if you continued to make situations difficult for business, they could move to one of those other shapes on the map.”
In response, Cuomo said that his administration “spent the past four years recalibrating,” by cutting taxes and working to bring down the cost of doing business. In that time, he claimed, “We brought down the size of government to the smallest level now in fifty years.”
Having done “what we had to do to get our state competitive,” Cuomo said, “opening up global markets is now the next step for us.” The best way to do that, he believes, is by creating a state-level version of the Export-Import Bank of the United States. (RELATED: Beneficiaries of Export-Import Bank Oppose Re-Authorization)
The new entity, officially styled the “Global NY Development Fund”, will provide loans and grants to “help small- and medium-sized New York companies tap into global markets,” and will also “partner with the Federal Ex-Im Bank to connect creditworthy small businesses to export financing,” according to a press release issued by the governor’s office.
Cuomo said that, “we are going to capitalize [the Fund] with $35 million to start,” divided between a $25 million lending program funded through Empire State Development, and a $10 million grant fund for “firms to develop export capacity, including export marketing plans, website translation, product adaptation, and market certification.”
According to the New York Observer, Cuomo conceded to reporters after the speech that, “we are subsidizing corporate welfare…there’s no doubt about that,” but said it was necessary to keep New York competitive relative to other states. “If you want New York to stop, you have to stop the other states,” he claimed. (RELATED: Is the Export-Import Bank Crony Capitalism)
Over the next few years, Cuomo said he also plans to promote New York exports with a series of trade missions to Mexico, Canada, Italy, China and Israel. “Why Italy? Because I want to go to Italy basically is why Italy,” Cuomo said in answer to his self-posed question.
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