U.S. Exports Have Increased, Ex-Im Bank Helping

The U.S. Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im) is working toward helping President Barack Obama accomplish his National Export Initiative—doubling exports over the next five years to support two million jobs in America. The rise in U.S. exports during the first quarter of 2010, a 16.7 percent increase, is due, in large part, to the Ex-Im Bank.

The goal of the Ex-Im Bank is to increase the number of jobs in the U.S. by creating more markets and opportunities globally for both large and small U.S. companies. According to Fred P. Hochberg, Chairman and President of the Bank, “This is a great progress report…our goal is to create more opportunities in more countries so U.S. businesses can reach more customers, and in doing so create more jobs.”

The Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) announced that U.S. exports totaled $434 billion during the January-March period of 2010, up 16.7 percent from the same period of 2009. There was a significant increase in exports to Asian markets this year primarily to countries such as Taiwan (80 percent), Korea (66.2 percent), Malaysia (49.2 percent) and China (46.6 percent). The Bank’s authorizations in support of U.S. exports to this region increased from $832.6 million in fiscal year 2009 to $4.9 billion so far this fiscal year.

Such export growth in Asia encouraged the Strategic Economic Dialogue which took place in Beijing, China May 24-25. The U.S. delegation that attended the dialogue along with Hochberg included Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and Secretary of Treasury Timothy Geithner.

During the Strategic Economic Dialogue, the countries aimed at promoting cooperation and strengthening trust. Sec. Clinton stated “few global problems can be solved by the U.S. or China acting alone. And few can be solved without the U.S. and China working together.” Security was discussed between the two countries, who agreed that they would consult closely on security measures such as current threats imposed by Iran. China pledged it would move forward with currency reforms and urged the U.S. to lift restrictions of high-tech U.S. exports to China. Both countries signed cooperation agreements for clean energy, student exchanges and customs and border protection.

During the first half of the current fiscal year (beginning Oct. 1, 2009), the Ex-Im Bank loan authorizations increased to $13.2 billion, a 125 percent increase over the record $5.9 billion authorized during the same period in FY 2009. More so, export loan authorizations to small businesses increased by half a billion during the same period to $2.3 billion, 28 percent greater than the first half of FY 2009.

Additionally, an estimated 109,000 American jobs have been supported by the Bank’s financing so far this fiscal year, compared to about 61,000 jobs supported during the same period a year ago.

The Ex-Im Bank is working to reach more businesses and promote exporting to new markets by financing the sales of U.S. exports through loan guarantees, export-credit insurance and direct loans. In order to do so, the Ex-Im Bank is expanding its outreach efforts and working to make its financing products accessible to more exporters. More information is available at www.exim.gov.