NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York plans to form the first U.S. state version of the federal Export-Import Bank to help businesses expand overseas, Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Tuesday, in a vote of confidence in a credit agency that critics have decried as corporate welfare.
"We're going to capitalize it with $35 million to start," Cuomo said at a trade summit in New York, according to a recorded version of his speech. "We will have a real vehicle that can facilitate companies that want to make exactly this transaction."
The development fund would help small and medium-sized companies increase exports, his office said in a statement, without providing a time frame.
New York will partner with the U.S. Ex-Im bank to connect creditworthy small businesses to export financing with short-term loans of up to $500,000, the statement said.
"The states are in competition and I want jobs," Cuomo told reporters after announcing the imitative, according to a recording of the comments provided by his press office.
"For companies to go global, it is difficult," Cuomo said. "It is (also) not easy to move an existing company from overseas to the U.S."
The Ex-Im bank recently had its mandate extended by Congress through June 2015, in a compromise between critics who see it as corporate welfare and aimed to close it, and supporters who called a longer extension.
"The Federal Ex-Im bank is undergoing Congressional scrutiny," Cuomo said, adding the scrutiny was focused on which companies benefit. "The concept of facilitating international trade, is exactly right," he said.
Reporting by Megan Davies; Editing by Richard Chang