On behalf of the Business Roundtable, I write urging passage of a multi-year reauthorization of the U.S. Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank as soon as possible before its short-term extension expires at the end of June. Such a long-term reauthorization is urgently needed to address growing uncertainty among U.S. companies, of all sizes, that rely on Ex-Im Bank to enable their exports.
In today’s highly competitive global marketplace, there are more than 60 export credit agencies (ECAs) providing their own exporters with aggressive financing packages to compete for and win international sales. Ex-Im Bank is critical to helping American companies and workers fairly compete for such sales. It does so by seeking to offset at least some of the financing provided by foreign ECAs to foreign competitors.
Ex-Im Bank has long played an important role in helping support U.S. exports and jobs. For example, in FY2014, it provided financing for $27.5 billion worth of U.S. exports through its approval of over 3,700 transactions for U.S. companies, including more than 3,300 for small businesses. These exports supported an estimated 164,000 American jobs at these companies as well as companies in their U.S. supply chains. Since its founding in 1934, Ex-Im Bank has supported more than $600 billion of U.S. exports.
Ex-Im Bank carries out its mission at very little risk to taxpayers. Borrowers have defaulted on less than two percent of all Ex-Im Bank loans since its creation and only 0.175% of loans in FY2014 – rates well below those of most commercial banks. In FY2014, Ex-Im Bank generated more than $674 million for the U.S. Treasury (from fees or interest charged for its services) after covering its expenses.