Ex-Im Bank Update
During the first three quarters of FY 2012, the U.S. Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im) authorized export financing totaling $23.8 billion, nine percent higher than the same time period in FY 2011. Small-business authorizations grew from $3.4 billion in FY 2011 to $3.6 billion in FY 2012, a seven percent increase. Other noteworthy growth in financing occurred in the oil and gas and transportation industries.
Among all Ex-Im markets, Australia topped the list of the fastest growing countries. During the first three quarters of FY 2012, $3 billion was authorized there compared to $10 million in all of FY 2011. In the final quarter of FY 2012 there are several large transactions still under consideration that will, if approved, significantly increase export financing for Australian buyers, perhaps by as much as 15 times over FY 2011 levels.
Ex-Im has recognized that small-business exporters are significantly contributing to our nation’s economic recovery by competing for and winning sales overseas against aggressive foreign competition. With 95 percent of the world’s customers located overseas, Ex-Im has been critical to providing these small companies the tools they need to be successful in the global marketplace.
Ex-Im Bank is contributing to growing export sales and last year the Bank set export finance records for the third straight year and supported 290,000 American jobs. In May, Chairman Fred Hochberg cited small-business export financing reached over $6 billion—up 90 percent since 2008. More than 85 percent of all Ex-Im transactions in FY 2011 were for small businesses. More than $517 million of this financing supports minority- and woman- owned businesses, a 12 percent increase in export financing from the same time frame in FY 2011—at $4.6 million. So far, 477 small-business customers have used Ex-Im Bank products for the first time this year, putting new small-business customers at 1,775 since the launch of Ex-Im Bank’s Global Access program.
It is critical that the federal government and its public and private sector partners continue to provide resources for small business to succeed in the global marketplace. Ex-Im Bank understands that the demands of small business are different than those of large enterprises and the recent reauthorization of the Bank in May guaranteed Ex-Im will be able to continue to offer tailored financing and insurance products that support small businesses in their efforts to reach and sell to more customers around the world. The bipartisan bill—signed into law on May 30—provides much-needed certainty and predictability to U.S. exporters by extending the Bank’s authority through 2014 and gradually increasing its lending cap to $140 billion. The reauthorization allows Ex-Im to continue financing U.S. exports to meet foreign competition and fills the void when acceptable commercial financing is unavailable. By further enabling small business export sales growth, business owners will be able to help improve our economy and create jobs in communities across the country.