As a share of GDP, China's Export-Import Bank provided 17 times more financing to its exporters than the U.S. Ex-Im Bank did in 2008.
Financing is a key element in global trade competition, but global competition in export credit financing has become increasingly formidable with foreign competitors enjoying substantial and aggressive support from their countries' export credit agencies. In 2008, China, India, Brazil, Italy, France, Canada, and Germany all extended greater new medium- and long-term export credit assistance, as a share of their GDP, than the United States did. In fact, China extended 17 times more financing than the U.S. did as a share of GDP and India almost 15 times more in 2008. From 2005 to 2008, the volume of export credit financing extended by China grew by over 200 percent and by India almost 300 percent. Moreover, at the end of 2009, The Export Import Bank of China had $91 billion in outstanding loans, whereas currently the U.S. Export-Import Bank has approximately $78 billion in authorized export credits outstanding, meaning that although U.S. GDP is almost three times China's, China is still investing more in credit financing for its exporters than the United States. As ExIm Bank Chairman Fred Hochberg noted in recent Senate testimony, the United States is "clearly outgunned when it comes to foreign [export credit] competition." Thus, as Congress moves to reauthorize the U.S. Export-Import Bank for a new five year period, it should do so swiftly while also significantly increasing the statutory lending limit from $100 billion to as much as $200 billion.