EXIM Bank Reauthorization on the Horizon
On Friday, November 15, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) for a 10-year period through 2029. The House successfully passed H.R. 4863 United States Export Finance Agency Act of 2019 with a vote of 235-184. In addition to a 10-year reauthorization of the EXIM’s operations and funding, the bill renames EXIM, the “United States Export Finance Agency,” and increases its lending authority from $135 billion to $175 billion over a seven-year period.
The bill is unlikely to be considered in the Senate, as both Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and President Trump have indicated their opposition to the bill. EXIM appears likely to continue its operations under another temporary budget continuing resolution (CR) to be considered before the current CR ends on November 21, 2019.
Despite broad support for EXIM reauthorization from both political parties, the White House, and a range of economic interests including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO, differences over details of the House bill has divided support for the current reauthorization bill along partisan lines. A June 2019 compromise draft authored by House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-California) and Ranking Member Patrick McHenry (R-North Carolina) fell apart in committee with some Republican committee members wanting greater constraints on EXIM financing for projects involving Chinese state-owned corporations, and some Democrat members seeking greater restrictions on financing for fossil-fuel related projects.
The House bill approved on Friday sought to address these concerns but only cleared committee on a partisan 30 – 27 vote, with McHenry and all Republican committee members withdrawing support because of concerns that the bill’s restrictions on China-related financing were not strong enough. In the final House vote on H.R. 4863, only four Democrats voted no with only 13 Republicans voting yes with the majority.
A bipartisan bill to reauthorize EXIM (S. 2293) has also been introduced in the Senate but has yet to be considered by the Senate Banking Committee.
EXIM resumed full financing capacity in May 2019, when the U.S. Senate confirmed three Trump administration nominees to the EXIM board of directors, and re-established a lapsed quorum that had limited EXIM’s operations since 2015.
About EXIM Bank:
EXIM is an independent federal agency that promotes and supports American jobs by providing competitive and necessary export credit to overseas purchasers of U.S. goods and services. A robust EXIM can level the global playing field for U.S. exporters when they compete against foreign companies that receive support from their governments. EXIM also contributes to U.S. economic growth by helping to create and sustain hundreds of thousands of jobs in exporting businesses and their supply chains across the United States. In recent years, 90 percent of the total number of the bank’s authorizations has directly supported small businesses. Since 2000, EXIM has provided $14.8 billion to the U.S. Treasury after paying for all of its administrative and program expenses.
As a certified EXIM broker, Securitas has decades of experience working with U.S. companies seeking to implement and understand EXIM’s guarantees and insurance policies to mitigate risk, finance international trade and achieve export-driven growth. Because of the firm’s work in helping US companies increase exports and create jobs, Securitas was named EXIM Broker of The Year in 2015.
Securitas is ready to help businesses, particularly SMEs interested in pursuing an export strategy, learn how to access EXIM’s services.