The Senate Banking Committee approved legislation today to reauthorize the U.S. Export-Import Bank through 2015. The reauthorization measure, which was approved by a voice vote, would gradually increase the loan ceiling to $140 billion. In addition to increasing the Bank’s exposure cap, the bill would also direct the Bank to review its current domestic content requirements, with due consideration for maintaining and creating jobs in the United States, and encourage the Bank to increase financing of exports for renewable energy and energy efficient technologies.
Ex-Im Bank, which is self-sustaining, provides financing to U.S. exporters through direct loans, guarantees and payment insurance. Last year alone, Ex-Im authorized more than $26 billion in exports that supported an estimated 230,000 jobs at more than 3,300 companies across the country.
Additionally, more than 80 percent of Ex-Im Bank’s transactions directly involve small businesses. Congress must swiftly move to reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank before it expires on September 30.
Lauren Airey is director of trade facilitation policy, National Association of Manufacturers.