Ex-Im Bank Releases Annual ReportJanuary 20, 2016
On Jan. 14, the Export-Import Bank of the U.S. (Ex-Im) released its Fiscal Year 2015 Annual Report. In FY 2015, which ended on Sept. 30, Ex-Im approved $12.4 billion in total authorizations, supported more than $17 billion in U.S. exports and an estimated 109,000 U.S. jobs. Ex-Im also announced it has transferred $431.6 million in deficit-reducing receipts to the U.S. Treasury’s General Fund for fiscal year 2015.
Ex-Im is an independent federal agency that supports and maintains U.S. jobs by filling gaps in private export financing at no cost to American taxpayers. Ex-Im provides a variety of financing mechanisms, including working capital guarantees and export credit insurance, to promote the sale of U.S. goods and services abroad. Almost ninety percent of its transactions directly serve American small businesses.
Among the highlights from the 2015 Annual Report:
- Ex-Im supported 109,000 American jobs.
• Ex-Im supported $17.0 billion in exports at no cost to American taxpayers.
• Ex-Im supported more than $3.1 billion of exports from U.S. small businesses.
• Nearly 90 percent of transactions directly supported U.S. small businesses.
• Ex-Im Bank had a default rate of 0.235 percent as of Sept. 30, 2015
• Remitted $431.6 million to the U.S. Treasury for debt reduction.
In 2015, Ex-Im experienced a five-month lapse of the agency’s charter, and following a brutal fight in Congress, the Bank was revived in early December 2015 after congressional supporters successfully attached it to a highway funding bill. Conservative Republicans were particularly opposed to Ex-Im’s renewal, arguing the agency only benefited large corporations who do not need government assistance, while putting taxpayers at risk should borrowers default. As a result of its recent circumstances, the annual report cites that the value of its transactions dropped from $20.5 billion in fiscal 2014 to a combined $12.4 billion during this past fiscal year. Small businesses benefited directly from 24.5 percent of that money, during that time.
Despite its four-year renewal, Ex-Im is still facing some issues. The Ex-Im board of directors has only two of the five members it is supposed to have in order to approve loans above $10 million, which made up about a third, value-wise, of Ex-Im’s transactions in fiscal year 2015. President Barack Obama has nominated John Mark McWatters, a former aide to House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), to fill one of the vacant Republican seats on the Ex-Im Bank’s board of directors, but Senate Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.)—an opponent of the Bank—is in no rush to move on it.