CalChamber Urges State Senate to Support Reauthorization of Export-Import Bank

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InternationalA California Chamber of Commerce-supported state resolution urging Congress to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) is awaiting a vote by the California Senate.

Reauthorizing the Ex-Im Bank, as urged by AJR 14 (Chu; D-San Jose), will enable U.S. companies—both large and small—to turn export opportunities into real sales that help maintain and create U.S. jobs and contribute to a stronger national economy.

The measure has received bipartisan support as it moves through the state legislative process.

The CalChamber supports free trade worldwide, expansion of international trade and investment, fair and equitable market access for California products abroad and elimination of disincentives that impede the international competitiveness of California business.

Ex-Im Bank

Ex-Im Bank is operating on a short-term extension of its charter, which expires on June 30, 2015, so it is imperative that Congress act quickly to reauthorize the charter.

The mission of Ex-Im Bank is to support U. S. jobs through exports. The Ex-Im Bank, a small federal agency, serves as the official export credit agency of the United States, thereby helping U.S. companies sell their products overseas. It assists small and large U.S. companies in financing the export of U.S. goods and services to international markets.

Ex-Im Bank does not compete with private sector lenders, but provides export financing products that fill gaps in trade financing. It assumes credit and country risks that the private sector is unable or unwilling to accept. It also helps to level the playing field for U.S. exporters by matching the financing that other governments provide to their exporters.

With 80 years of experience, Ex-Im Bank has supported more than $567 billion of U.S. exports, primarily to developing markets worldwide. Ex-Im Bank is vital to U.S. competitiveness; the bank’s support often is required to secure commercial financing or even to qualify to bid on overseas projects.

Without the Ex-Im Bank, 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.

Benefits to California

California has especially benefited from the Ex-Im Bank facilitating exporting:

• Over the last seven years, the Ex-Im Bank has assisted more than 1,150 California companies.

• Exports from these companies totaled more than $26 billion in sales.

• In 2013 alone, the Ex-Im Bank supported nearly 400 California exporters for a total of $5 billion in sales.

• Since 2007 the bank has helped 815 small businesses, 139 minority owned, 106 women owned, 53 environmentally beneficial and 14 renewable energy.

In addition to supporting jobs, the Ex-Im Bank is a self-sustaining agency that operates at no net cost to the taxpayers. Ex-Im Bank pays for itself by charging fees or interest to its customers for loans, credit insurance and loan guarantees that the customers receive.

• Small and medium-sized businesses account for 90% of Ex-Im Bank’s transactions.

• In 2013, Ex-Im Bank supported more than 200,000 American jobs.

• In 2014, Ex-Im Bank provided financing or guarantees for $27.5 billion in U.S. exports, thereby supporting more than 164,000 American jobs.

• Over the last two decades, Ex-Im Bank has generated a surplus of nearly $7 billion.

• Last year Ex-Im Bank sent $674.7 million to the U.S. Treasury as surplus for American taxpayers.

• Since the 2008 fiscal year, Ex-Im Bank has generated $1.6 billion in excess revenue for U.S. taxpayers.

• Last year, borrowers defaulted on less than one-quarter of 1% of all loans backed by Ex-Im Bank.

• Nearly $14 billion—more than 68%—of Ex-Im Bank reauthorizations supported U.S. exports to emerging markets, where commercial banks often are more reluctant to lend.

For California statistics from Ex-Im Bank

Staff Contacts: Marti Fisher, Susanne T. Stirling

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Susanne T. Stirling
About Susanne T. Stirling
Susanne T. Stirling, vice president, international affairs, has headed the CalChamber’s International Trade Department since 1982. She serves on the District Export Council (appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce), the National Export Council Steering Committee, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce International Committee, and the Chile-California Council. She studied at the University of Copenhagen and holds a B.A. in international relations from the University of the Pacific. She earned an M.A. from the School of International Relations at the University of Southern California.