The U.S. Congress adjourned for the summer recess without reauthorizing funding for the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank). Therefore, the credit export agency has lapsed for the first time in its 81-year history.
Although the Ex-Im Bank will continue to service existing loans, guarantees and insurance policies, the agency will be unable to offer new financing beginning July 1.
The Ex-Im Bank was a key financing tool that allowed U.S.-based manufacturers to expand internationally by backstopping the sale of goods and services sold abroad. The agency's programs – which include loan guarantees, export credit insurance, working capital guarantees and other services – help fill in the gaps in private-sector export financing.
In the wind industry, turbine manufacturers, such as Clipper, Gamesa and Siemens, were frequent recipients of direct loans from the credit agency. The bank's support for the transaction was needed due to a lack of long-term financing available from commercial lenders. Wind energy projects typically require longer repayment terms due to the extended amount of time needed for installation and operation at full capacity, notes the Ex-Im Bank.
Ex-Im Bank was created during the Great Depression in order to finance the export sales of U.S.-made goods and services. The Office of Renewable Energy and Environmental Exports was later added in 2008.Â