Cantwell: Small Businesses and Job Growth Prevail Over Partisanship with Ex-Im Bank Reauthorization

Washington, D.C. – Today, the long-term transportation bill conference committee approved a four-year authorization of the Export-Import Bank, providing businesses opportunities to export their products to foreign markets and maintain the United States’ global competitiveness.

“We are one step closer to leveling the playing field for American businesses competing in the global marketplace.  Today small businesses prevailed over extreme partisan ideology, which put tens of thousands of US jobs at risk.  As we have proven time and again, there is overwhelming support in Congress to reauthorize the Export Import Bank. As we near the finish line, businesses across Washington state and the nation will once again have access to this critical export credit agency.  We have the best products and services in the world – today’s progress reinforces American international competitiveness and will generate jobs and boost our economy,” said Senator Cantwell.

A few key reforms of the bill are:

  • Reduces risk to taxpayers by requiring higher loan loss reserves;
  • Puts greater focus on small businesses by increasing the required lending to small businesses from 20% to 25%;
  • Increases oversight of bank practices by creating a Chief Risk Officer and a Risk Management Committee to oversee the Bank's operations; requiring the Inspector General to audit the Bank’s risk management procedures regularly; and creating a non-political Chief Ethics Officer to oversee ethics practices of Bank employees.

Key Ex-Im facts

  • Ex-Im Bank is self-supported through interest payments and fees, turning a profit for taxpayers. In 2014, Ex-Im sent $675 million back to the U.S. Treasury as surplus for American taxpayers.
  • In fiscal year 2014, Ex-Im supported 164,000 U.S. jobs, $27.5 billion in exports and 3,340 small businesses.
  • Since fiscal year 2007, Ex-Im bank has supported 1.3 million jobs and $233 billion in exports, including 234 exporters and 154 small businesses in Washington state.
  • There are 85 credit agencies around the world in developed country. Without Ex-Im, small businesses will lose out to their overseas competitors, many of which are backed by export credit agencies 18 times the size of the U.S. Ex-Im Bank.