The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im) is an independent and vital federal agency that offers competitive financing tools to support sales of American-made products to overseas customers. However, Ex-Im hasn’t been fully functional since 2015 and cannot approve deals over $10 million unless Congress approves the President’s nominees to run the Bank. Here’s why Congress needs to get its act together and fix Ex-Im:
1. Ex-Im sustains jobs and drives economic growth.
Almost 95 percent of the world’s customers live outside the U.S., and it’s becoming increasingly important for American exporters to tap into the global market to spur growth and job creation. In the last decade, Ex-Im has supported more than 1.7 million private-sector, well-paying jobs in the U.S. and over $141 billion in total exports of American-made goods and services.
2. Ex-Im ensures American companies can compete in the global market.
Often, international customers looking to purchase capital-intense items (like planes, trains, and satellites) require financing from an official export credit agency in their bid documents before American companies can even compete for work. Without a fully functioning Ex-Im to support such large transactions, U.S. workers aren’t given a chance to succeed. That’s a huge disadvantage – and foreign competitors are winning.
3. Ex-Im helps small businesses grow.
Ex-Im is invaluable to small businesses without the commercial financing options to expand sales to overseas customers. Sometimes, large banks won’t lend to a small business without an Ex-Im guarantee. In fact, the bulk of Ex-Im transactions support small business exports through export credit insurance, working capital, or lines of credit. Ex-Im also supports small business by financing deals for large companies like Boeing, which employs 1.3 million Americans through its supply chain.
4. Ex-Im levels the playing field.
At least 109 foreign export credit agencies offer competitive financing tools that give their exporters a leg up in competitive markets. In 2017, China alone provided more export credit support than the rest of the world combined – and they aren’t slowing down. In fact, in 2014 and 2015, China agencies provided more export financing than Ex-Im Bank has its entire 84-year history. American companies need Ex-Im to help level the playing field when bidding against foreign competitors like China in the global marketplace.
5. Ex-Im makes money for the taxpayer.
Ex-Im is self-sustaining, meaning it generates a profit from its own fees to pay for its operations, and help pay down U.S. debt. In fact, Ex-Im has returned about $3.8 billion in profits to the U.S. Treasury since 2009 without spending a single dime of U.S. taxpayer money.