Export-Import Bank charter: what you need to know
What is the Export-Import Bank?
The Export-Import Bank‡ of the United States (Ex-Im) is the official export credit agency of the United States. ExIm fills gaps in the trade finance market by working with lenders and brokers to ensure that U.S. businesses get what they need to sell abroad and be competitive in international markets.*
Here’s an example of a business that would use Ex-Im: ABC Company realized to grow their international sales, they needed protection against foreign buyers who might fail to pay them, or non-payment risk protection. Ex-Im approves a small business export credit insurance policy. A few months later, ABC Company sold $500,000 of products to China. Ex-Im had mitigated ABC’s fear of non-payment since the policy covered 95 percent of the commercial and political risks.
Both Democrats and Republicans are working to present a bill to renew the charter while other lawmakers would rather let the charter expire. Those against renewing the charter argue that the bank is a form of “corporate welfare.” Lawmakers who encourage renewal assert that Ex-Im helps U.S. exporters compete against foreign companies, which are backed by their government sponsored Economic Consulting Associations. This results in the generation of 2 billion government-funded dollars for U.S. taxpayers, but with zero cost to the U.S. taxpayer.
Who is affected?
Supporters of the bank charter include large companies such as Boeing, General Electric and Caterpillar.
However, the smaller businesses who use the ExIm services could also be impacted, possibly even more than the larger ones. Take a look at the below chart and facts showing a snapshot of ExIm Bank throughout the last five years.
Source: Ex-Im website‡
The Ex-Im Bank Charter was set to expire on September 30, however the House and Senate passed a continuing resolution which will extend it through June 30, 2015. During the next nine months, supporters and detractors will lobby for merits of Ex-Im and potential reforms. UMB will continue to monitor the progress and update you on what you need to know.
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Mr. Jarrett is the senior vice president, director of international services and sales for UMB. He is responsible for the overall leadership and product strategy for foreign exchange, trade finance and Canadian cash management. He joined UMB in 2013 and has 15 years of experience in the financial services industry. A native of Quito, Ecuador, Paul earned a Bachelor of Science – Accounting degree, from Palm Beach Atlantic University in Palm Beach, Florida.