Ex-Im Bank Authorizations Hit All-Time Record

The Export-Import Bank of the U.S. (Ex-Im Bank) has set a new all-time record for export finance authorizations. On Aug. 4, for the first time, loan authorizations exceeded $ 24.5 billion and with two months still remaining in the fiscal year the total Ex-Im authorizations will continue to grow. Ex-Im Bank financing supports over $ 31.5 billion of export sales and 213,000 American jobs in communities across the country. Included are 2,548 small business export finance transactions.

In fact, a transaction involving a small-business customer new to Ex-Im pushed the Bank over the top when the board of directors approved a $57.8 million loan guarantee benefiting Royal Equipment of Conroe, Texas. The 25-employee company is providing equipment and services to remanufacture 22 off-highway mining trucks for the buyer, Australia’s Downer EDI Mining Pty. Ltd. The sale is the largest in Royal’s history.

This fiscal year’s authorizations to date represent a 70 percent increase over the Bank’s Fiscal Year 2008 total of $14.4 billion.

In a statement, Fred P. Hochberg, Chairman of Ex-Im Bank said “Today Ex-Im Bank set an authorizations record for a third-straight year…Coupled with overall U.S. exports being up over 16 percent, the nation is on pace to achieve President Obama’s goal of doubling exports by 2015. That’s great news for 213,000 American workers, American businesses and the U.S. economy.”

Buyers in Colombia, Turkey and India led the list of countries with the highest Ex-Im Bank export finance authorizations by total dollar amounts. All three countries are among the nine identified by the Bank as offering the greatest potential sales for American exporters. In Latin America, Colombia is one of Ex-Im Bank’s strongest markets, second only to Mexico. Colombia is one of nine key markets (others are Brazil, Mexico, Turkey, South Africa, Nigeria, India, Indonesia and Vietnam) where Ex-Im Bank is focusing its business-development efforts.

In fact, Chairman Hochberg led a business-development mission in Colombia on Aug. 9 – 11, 2011, to promote Ex-Im Bank financing available to support the purchase of U.S. goods and services by Colombian buyers to meet the country’s growing infrastructure needs. In Bogotá on August 9, Chairman Hochberg met with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, other government officials and business leaders in a variety of sectors.

The Bank has authorized almost $3.8 billion in support of U.S. exports to Colombia in fiscal year 2011 to date. This level of financing represents a sharp increase from the Bank’s total portfolio of $127 million in Colombia in FY 2008.

Commenting on the pending U.S.-Colombian Free Trade Agreement, Hochberg noted, “Ex-Im Bank is supporting Colombian companies as productive partners with U.S. exporters for the mutual benefit of our countries. The free trade agreement with Colombia will allow the Bank to harness additional opportunities on behalf of American exporters in infrastructure and other key sectors.”

The Bank’s previous export finance authorizations record was set during the last fiscal year, which ended September 30, 2010. The Bank’s export portfolio is now $82.4 billion as of the end of June.