Exporting Round-up

July 5, 2011

U.S. exporting continues to grow and expand its role in the overall U.S. economy. The Export-Import Bank of the U.S. (Ex-Im Bank) recently reported increased finance authorizations for U.S. exporters and an important benchmark in their Global Access for Small Business program, and also recently released a report outlining their global competitiveness. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) also is working to enhance export assistance for small businesses and the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee (TPCC)—an interagency body compromised of 20 federal agencies—recently released their 2011 National Export Strategy.

Export Financing

For the first seven months in FY 2011, Ex-Im Bank authorized $14.8 billion in export financing, a slight increase over the same time last year. Long-term loan guarantees have also increased nearly 34 percent to $7.6 billion; medium-term guarantees were up about 27 percent to almost $612 million; and working capital guarantees increased almost 12 percent to $834 million.

This underscores the recent numbers released from the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) showing April’s exports of U.S. goods and services totaled $175.6 billion—the largest monthly total ever recorded. The growth amounts to a 15.9 percent increase over the 2010 April export total.

Please click here for more details.

Global Access Program

Ex-Im Bank recently announced that their Global Access for Small Business program had met an important benchmark: helping 1,000 first-time small-business owners with Ex-Im’s finanice products. Although providing service and products to far more than 1,000 small businesses overall, Ex-Im Bank’s Global Access Program was launched in Jan. 2011 as part of President Barack Obama’s National Export Initiative (NEI).

This new benchmark brings the Global Access program closer to its goal of adding 5,000 new small-business customers by 2015, and is another positive step toward the NEI’s goal of doubling U.S. exports by 2015.

Click here for more on the Global Access program.

Competitiveness Report

On June 15, Ex-Im Bank released their 2011 Competitiveness Report which includes an in-depth look at the expansive export credit practices being used by emerging markets, such as Brazil, India, and China.

Among the key findings of Ex-Im’s Competitiveness Report:

Although Ex-Im Bank programs are competitive with those of its G-7 counterparts, innovative, unregulated programs as well as new programs in the field now represent a significant – if not majority share – of export credit financing.

While most export credit activities of emerging markets China, India and Brazil operate similar to Ex-Im Bank, some—namely in China—operate operate with a financial edge over standard export financing programs.

China and its ECAs have shown the most dramatic increase in terms of activity levels, and it operates under its own guidelines for export credits.

China works with myriad financial institutions doing vast amounts of short-term and medium- and long-term export finance (MLT) – including massive amounts directly to exporters and multi-billion-dollar concessional activity. In total, institutions’ activity could total over $100 billion a year.

Click here to view the full report

New SBA Assistance for Small Exporters

The SBA recently unveiled a new on-line tool for small businesses interested in starting or expanding their exporting operations. The free on-line tool will help small businesses evaluate their export readiness and help them fill in any gaps to come up with a comprehensive export business plan.

The Export Business Planner, as it’s called, will allow small businesses to:

·         Determine their export readiness

·         Learn about training and counseling opportunities

·         Complete worksheets for global market research

·         Obtain financing information and options

·         Customize export marketing plans, and

·         Access resources for exporters

The Export Business Planner is a PDF file that can be downloaded and customized, and offers a comprehensive list of resources and links to helpful Web sites and training videos. Through the new tool, small businesses can get a very basic introduction to exporting, conduct financial analysis and forecasting, and implement a timeline for their new or expanded exporting goals.

The new tool aims to make exporting more accessible by providing a variety of customizable worksheets and templates which offer a solid starting point rather than having to start from scratch.

Please click here to learn more and to download the Export Business Planner.

National Export Strategy

On June 28, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, on behalf of the TPCC, released to Congress the 2011 National Export Strategy: Powering the National Export Initiative. The annual report focuses on methods of implementing 70 recommendations made in a Sept. 2010 report to President Barack Obama on the NEI.

The TPCC report reinforces the importance of U.S. exports of goods and services, which in 2010 totaled $1.84 trillion, an increase of nearly 17 percent over 2009 levels, and supported more than 9 million jobs in the U.S.

Starting with this report, the annual National Export Strategy will fill the essential role of tracking and measuring the federal government’s progress in implementing the NEI. The TPCC will assess new opportunities and seek new ways for its agencies to improve coordination and increase effectiveness. The report identifies several areas of focus for federal agencies in their export-promotion efforts during 2011, including:

  • Improved collaboration with states, metropolitan areas, and border communities to help U.S. companies successfully export around the globe;
  • Support of exports by U.S. companies selling technologies in high-growth sectors, partly through improving the U.S. supply-chain infrastructure;
  • Ensuring better data and measurement of U.S. services sector exporting; and
  • Removing barriers to trade, including through passage of the pending South Korea, Colombia and Panama trade agreements.

Other sections examined the progress that is being made by federal agencies in addressing eight priorities identified in Executive Order 13534, which launched the NEI, and metrics for analyzing the success of export promotion strategies.

The TPCC was established by the Export Enhancement Act of 1992 to coordinate the export promotion and financing programs of the U.S. government, as well as to develop a comprehensive plan for implementing government-wide strategic priorities. The release of this year’s export strategy marks the first time all 18 trade agencies have agreed upon common metrics to measure export promotion.

Click here to view the full report.