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December 15, 2020

ACEC Comments in Support of Revising Content Policy at Export Import Bank

This week, ACEC President and CEO, Linda Bauer Darr submitted comments in support of the Export Import Bank’s (EXIM) proposal to revise its content policy. 

Considered one of the world’s strictest among Export Credit Agencies (ECA), EXIM’s US content requirements can make it very difficult to secure EXIM financing. EXIM’s existing content policy states that for medium and long-term transactions, the level of support for the net contract price will be the lesser of 85% of the value of all eligible exports in the U.S. Export Contract, or 100% of the U.S. content in all eligible exports in the U.S. Export Contract. 

As Council CEO Linda Bauer Darr noted, “due to the technical nature of engineering, often global engineering firms need to use the technical expertise from members of their team residing in other countries.” As a result of the existing content requirements, this would preclude American firms from securing EXIM financing even though the project revenue would be coming back to the United States. “This puts U.S. firms at a financing competitive disadvantage”, said Darr.

When Congress reauthorized the Export-Import Bank in December 2019, it directed EXIM to establish a new program on China and transformational exports. The Program’s purpose is to support the extension of loans, guarantees, and insurance that are competitive with rates, terms, and other conditions established by the People’s Republic of China. Specifically, one of its stated goals is to directly neutralize export subsidies for competing goods and services financed by official export credit, tied aid, or blended financing provided by China or by other covered countries.

Many of the transformational exports highlighted by the new program include water treatment and sanitation, renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy storage -- each of which represent exports that require the engineering services that our members provide. Architecture and engineering work can be extremely technical, and American engineering brings the highest standards, promoting safety and quality, serving as the gold standard in infrastructure solutions.

The Export-Import Bank’s importance in terms of international competitiveness cannot be overstated. EXIM should be in the business of supporting US firms to export their talent, products, and services overseas to maintain relevancy and primacy in the marketplace. The reforms to EXIM’s content policy are essential for American firms to remain competitive now and into the future.

Our letter can be found here.


All comments to blog posts will be moderated by ACEC staff.

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