Ex-Im Bank Reauthorization Update

H.R. 2072, the Securing American Jobs Through Exports Act of 2011, which will reauthorize—through Sept. 30, 2015—the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) was introduced and referred to the House Financial Services Committee on June 1, 2011. On June 22, 2011, the full committee approved the bill and ordered it to be reported favorably to the House floor for consideration.

During deliberation, SBEA joined several other associations in sending a letter to House Financial Services Committee Chair Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) and his fellow committee members urging their full support for the reauthorization of Ex-Im, as the Bank’s charter expires on Sept. 30, 2011. The Ex-Im Bank enables U.S. companies — large and small — to turn export opportunities into real sales that helps to maintain and create U.S. jobs and contribute to a stronger national economy.

Introduced by House Financial Services Subcommittee on International Monetary Policy and Trade Chairman Gary Miller (R-Calif.) the bill reauthorizes the activities and operations of the Bank “to ensure that the Bank provides financing that is competitive with the financing provided by foreign export credit agencies to enable United States companies to maintain and create jobs in the United States and contribute to a stronger national economy through the export of their goods and services.”

Additionally, the measure limits the Bank’s outstanding loans, guarantees, and insurance to $160 billion over three years, increasing it at $20 billion per year up to $160 billion in total exposure. (Current limit is $100 billion). It directs the Bank, by rule, to establish clear and comprehensive guidelines with respect to the content of the goods and services involved in a transaction for which the Bank will provide financing, which shall be aimed at ensuring that the Bank enables United States companies to maintain and create jobs in the United States and contribute to a stronger national economy through the export of their goods and services.

Furthermore, H.R. 2072 authorizes Ex-Im Bank to use up to five percent of Bank surplus during each fiscal year (not to exceed $20 million total) for the acquisition, installation, operation, and maintenance of information technology systems of the Bank. It also requires Ex-Im Bank to monitor and calculate default rates no less frequently than every 60 days and provide a report to Congress within 45 days if such default rate exceeds two percent detailing the circumstances that caused the default rate to reach this level and a plan of action to reduce the default rate.

This year stands to be a critical one for export finance due not only to the continued push of the National Export Initiative, but more importantly, because of the need this year for Congress to reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank.

SBEA is working to ensure that reauthorization of the Bank is done in a timely manner. SBEA continued focus is on educating Congress about the Bank’ critical role in supporting American exports in the face of competition with aggressive support from other export credit agencies (ECAs) as well as the need for a competitive Ex-Im Bank.

Please click here to read testimony from SBEA’s past chair, David Ickert on Ex-Im Bank reauthorization.