President Barack Obama has signed into law H.R.22, the ‘Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act),’ which includes reauthorization of the Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank of the United States through Sept. 30, 2019.
Ex-Im Bank is an independent federal agency that supports and maintains U.S. jobs by filling gaps in private export financing at no cost to taxpayers. Wind turbine manufacturers, including Gamesa and Siemens, have been recipients of direct loans from the agency.
The bank 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.
In fiscal year 2015, Ex-Im Bank says, it approved $12.5 billion in total authorizations. These authorizations supported an estimated $17.7 billion in U.S. export sales, as well as approximately 109,000 American jobs in communities across the country.
In a letter to shareholders and customers, Fred P. Hochberg, chairman and president of the Ex-Im Bank, says Ex-Im will now be able to restart the work needed to meet its mission of supporting American jobs and equipping businesses with the tools necessary to compete for global sales.
Exporters and their supply chains are critical to the country's economic health, the letter says. Export-focused businesses bring a host of benefits to their communities and local economies, including generally paying higher wages to their employees than non-export businesses, Hochberg adds.
More on the reauthorization can be found here in the October 2015 issue of NAW.