Ex-Im Bank is Back in Business
In a major victory for U.S. manufacturers, the Ex-Im Bank’s charter has been renewed through Sept. 20, 2019. Ex-Im was shut down last July for the first time in its 80-year history by a small, but strong minority in Congress. The bipartisan majority of supporters was ultimately stronger, and Ex-Im was renewed as part of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, the first long-term transportation bill in 17 years. It was signed into law last Friday.
The new law makes a few changes to the Bank’s charter in an attempt to address critics’ concerns including: reducing the bank's overall lending cap to $135 billion, from $140 billion; increasing the percentage of aid provided to small businesses to 25%, from 20%; and providing a number of reforms aimed at improving transparency and governance.
In addition to extending Ex-Im, the FAST Act authorizes $300 billion in highway and mass transit funding over six years. Congressional sponsors applauded its hard-won enactment, which they hope will provide more long-term certainty for states and local governments, and much-needed improvements to U.S. roads; bridges; mass transit and passenger rail.
“The U.S. manufacturing technology industry is a strong advocate of the bank that President Roosevelt started to help facilitate exports between the U.S. and other countries,” said Ed Christopher, AMT Vice President of Global Services. “Since then, Ex-Im has supported countless manufacturers, including small and large, venture into new markets on an increasingly competitive globalized playing field.”
Last year alone, Ex-Im supported $37 billion in exports that in turn sustained more than 200,000 American jobs at 3,400 companies. The Bank’s support is especially important to the small and medium-sized businesses that account for nearly 90 percent of Ex-Im transactions. Tens of thousands of smaller companies that supply goods and services to large exporters also benefit from Ex-Im’s activities.
For nearly two years, pro-manufacturing businesses and organizations, have worked hard to build the overwhelming bipartisan support that was critical to enacting the FAST Act. In the end, only 65 Representatives and 16 Senators voted against it. Please join us in thanking your members of Congress that voted “Aye”: Senate and House. You can find contact information by visiting AMT Legislative Action Center and entering your zip code.