Officials at a government agency that assists American businesses in landing overseas sales contracts are hoping that federal lawmakers cast their votes in favor of maintaining the U.S. Export-Import Bank’s charter prior to its June 30 expiration deadline.
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Formally designated as the Export-Import Bank of the United States and commonly called Ex-Im, political opponents ranging from conservatives to union leaders contend that the program is a boondoggle benefiting mostly huge conglomerates with questionable needs for taxpayer largess. However, 89 percent of its record-high 3,413 transactions in 2013 were for small businesses – and the department turns a profit. In October, it disbursed $675 million to the U.S. Treasury, reflecting a 47-percent growth pattern since 2009.
Automotive enterprises, especially entrepreneurs in the aftermarket, have certainly benefited from the offerings as over the past five years Ex-Im has directed nearly $2 billion to help facilitate exports of domestically produced completed cars and trucks along with parts, chemicals, services and equipment to international markets.
“These numbers are another clear demonstration that the global demand for products stamped ‘Made in America’ continues to grow,” declares Chairman and President Fred P. Hochberg.
“I look forward to working with Congress on the passage of a long-term reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank in order to bring certainty to the hundreds of thousands of Americans whose jobs depend on a level playing field for U.S. goods and services,” he says.
“Quality American goods shouldn’t lose out to aggressive foreign competitors because of the Export-Import Bank’s still-uncertain future,” says Hochberg. “Overwhelmingly bipartisan majorities in Congress have extended our charter 16 times, and I’m confident that together we can again find a long-term solution. Small businesses and workers in communities across America are counting on it.”
A variety of financing mechanisms, including working-capital guarantees, export credit insurance and financing to help foreign buyers purchase U.S. goods and services are provided. Regional Ex-Im offices are spread throughout the nation, offering business owners referrals to participating private-sector brokers and bankers.
Ex-Im’s upcoming April 23-24, 2015, Annual Conference at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. “presents a unique opportunity for companies from around the world to meet U.S. exporters,” says Hochberg. “Attendees include more than 1,100 exporters and representatives of financial institutions, foreign trade partners and government officials. At the event participants also meet Ex-Im Bank staff and obtain detailed information about our export credit products and programs,” he reports.