Washington DC – The National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) strongly applauds the House-Senate Conference action on approving a final bill to reauthorize the United States Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank.
“Last night’s conference action is a major milestone toward completing Ex-Im reauthorization legislation and reflects a dedication to U.S. exports and U.S. jobs,” said Bill Reinsch, President of the National Foreign Trade Council. “It is critical that the both Houses of Congress approve the conference report as soon as they return from the Memorial Day recess. The expected additional two-week extension of Ex-Im’s charter should allow Congress to finally complete its action on this important legislation, action which is long overdue.”
Ex-Im serves as the “lender of last resort” for U.S. exporters when commercial bank financing is not available for export sales and the U.S. exporter is confronted with foreign competitors which have financing available from their government. Currently, some 70 governments around the world have export credit agencies (ECAs) like Ex-Im, providing about $500 billion a year in government-backed financing.
An earlier NFTC listing shows how over 35,000 small and medium-sized companies are “invisible” exporters and major beneficiaries of Ex-Im Bank as suppliers of goods and services to large exporters, demonstrating the vital importance of Ex-Im Bank to small businesses. While the “exporter of record” on many projects supported by Ex-Im Bank may be a large company, the report indicates that thousands of small and medium-sized companies are necessary to provide services or manufactured parts to assemble and build products for export by larger companies.
“To remain competitive in the global marketplace, both large and small exporters and their workers depend upon Ex-Im Bank ,” said Reinsch. “Ex-Im’s basic operating principle is to support U.S. jobs by supporting exports of U.S. goods and services through transactions that would not go forward without Ex-Im financing,” said Reinsch. “We urge Congress to work quickly in getting this legislation to the Presiden’t desk. The competitiveness of U.S. business in some foreign markets is at stake.”