Let the Ex-Im Bank Do its Job Supporting U.S. Exporters

January 20, 2012

Congress should expeditiously reauthorize the Export-Import Bank and increase its funding authority to at least $160 billion annually over the next reauthorization period. When the Bank’s previous authorization expired at the end of the last fiscal year on September 30, 2011, Congress temporarily extended the Banks’ authorization while capping its lending authority at $100 billion, an amount barely in excess of the $80 billion in credits the Bank had outstanding at the time. As a consequence, at current rates, the Bank is likely to reach its authorization cap by the end of the first quarter of 2012 and so would be unable to issue new financing assistance. This would be a disastrous outcome for not just U.S. exporters, but also for U.S. employment, and the health of the overall U.S. economy. However, even at this moment, foreign competitors are using the mere possibility that Ex-Im Bank financing may be difficult to secure in future months (not to mention lawsuits like ATA’s again the Ex-Im Bank) as a cudgel to strike fear into customers of U.S. exporters in an effort to turn their business to foreign suppliers.