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December 20, 2019

Congress Reauthorizes Ex-Im Bank Through 2026

by Dan Hilton

The House and Senate included a long-term reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank in the year-end spending deal.  President Trump has indicated that he will sign the legislation.

The U.S. Export-Import Bank would be reauthorized through Dec. 31, 2026. The measure also would extend, through fiscal 2027, the annual limit on the agency’s outstanding loans, guarantees, and insurance or its exposure cap, which is $135 billion annually.

One of the early disagreements between leaders of the House Financial Services Committee was the Bank’s lending to Chinese aligned ventures. The agreement set to pass this week would require Ex-Im to establish a program to provide loans, guarantees, and insurance at rates that are fully competitive with China or another covered country. The support would aim to “neutralize” export subsidies provided by China or advance the “comparative leadership” of the U.S. with respect to China.

The program also would support certain technology exports in areas such as artificial intelligence, fifth and future generations of wireless technologies, and quantum computing, among other things.

The agreement would set a goal for the bank to use at least 20% of its financing for the program. The agreement would require Ex-Im to report to Congress on its consultations with the State Department and other agencies to assess risks to U.S. national interests of transactions more than $25 million for which Ex-Im determines the end-user, borrower, or lender is any entity controlled by or an agent of China’s government.

The measure would also establish a temporary board, consisting of any remaining members, the U.S. trade representative (USTR), and the Treasury and Commerce secretaries if the board’s quorum lapses for 120 consecutive days. The USTR and Cabinet secretaries could delegate their votes to their deputies for transactions that don’t exceed $100 million. The temporary board couldn’t modify the bank’s policies, procedures, or bylaws. The president would be required to appoint a qualified board member of a different political party if the temporary board consists of members of one political party.

The measure’s provisions relating to the temporary board would sunset on Dec. 31, 2026.

Other Ex-Im Provisions Include:

  • Increase the required amount of lending to small businesses to 30%, from 25%, beginning Jan. 1, 2021.
  • Direct Ex-Im to promote exports relating to renewable energy, energy efficiency, and energy storage and require that at least 5% of the bank’s financing be used to finance those energy exports.
  • Require Ex-Im to deny an application for export financing if the borrower, lender, or exporter has been convicted of fraud or corruption in the preceding five years unless the convicted person can be excluded from the transaction.

Dan Hilton is ACEC Director Procurement Advocacy and International Affairs

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


December 20, 2019



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