Washington DC -Senior officials from the three leading federal finance agencies — the Trade and Development Agency (TDA), the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), and the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im) — met with the NFTC’s Export and Project Finance Committee as part of the Committee’s formal meeting to review its priorities and agenda for 2002. The issues addressed included the current budget outlook for the agencies, Ex-Im’s reauthorization status, an upcoming agency trip to Afghanistan on reconstruction, and ongoing policy issues of interest to NFTC members.
“Ex-Im, OPIC and TDA are vitally important to American exporters and investors in ensuring American firms and workers are successful in competing in emerging markets, particularly in the post-9/11 environment,” said Bill Reinsch, President of the National Foreign Trade Council .
American firms face fierce foreign government-backed support for competing export and major infrastructure project bids. These agencies are key to ensuring a level playing field and boosting American jobs and exports and to fill a void not being met by the private sector. Adequately funded agencies and final enactment of legislation to reauthorize Ex-Im Bank before its short term extension expires on March 31, are two top NFTC priorities this year, according to Reinsch.
In his keynote address to the NFTC’s Export Finance Committee, the Honorable Eduardo Aguirre, Jr., First Vice President and Vice Chair of the U.S. Export-Import Bank said: “I commend the NFTC and its members for its leadership on export finance issues and its support of Ex-Im Bank.”
“Exporters are my clients and taxpayers are my shareholders. We want to be there for U.S. companies as a lender of last resort in support of expanding American exports and jobs,” said Aguirre. “Ex-Im will be responsive to American exporter needs. We’re working with other government agencies to achieve a common goal – creating U.S. jobs.”
“Competing with tough subsidized competition in overseas markets puts U.S. business at a major disadvantage when bidding for contracts in emerging markets,” said Reinsch. “We applaud Vice Chairman Aguirre’s dedication to boosting American exports through a strong and competitive Ex-Im Bank, which ultimately leads to a strong economy here at home. The NFTC looks forward to working with him in support of that important objective.”