Export-Import Bank: Background and Legislative Issues [April 3, 2012]   [open pdf - 385KB]

"The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank, EXIM Bank, or the Bank), an independent federal government agency, is the official export credit agency (ECA) of the United States. It helps finance U.S. exports of manufactured goods and services, with the objective of contributing to the employment of U.S. workers, primarily in circumstances when alternative financing is not available. The Ex-Im Bank also may assist U.S. exporters to meet foreign, officially sponsored, export credit competition. Its main programs are direct loans, loan guarantees, working capital guarantees, and export credit insurance. Ex-Im Bank transactions are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. The Ex-Im Bank is a participant in President Obama's National Export Initiative (NEI), a plan to double exports by 2015 to support 2 million U.S. jobs. The Bank operates under a renewable charter, the Export-Import Bank Act of 1945, as amended, and has been reauthorized through May 31, 2012 (P.L. 112-74). The charter requires that all of the Bank's financing have a reasonable assurance of repayment and directs the Bank to supplement, and to not compete with, private capital. In light of the international financial crisis, demand for Ex-Im Bank services has grown in recent years. […] Members of Congress may examine issues related to the Ex-Im Bank that center on the economic rationale for the Bank; the impact of the Bank on the federal budget and U.S. taxpayers; the Bank's support for specific types of business or industries; the current balance between the Bank's advancement of U.S. commercial interests and other U.S. policy goals; the competitive position of the Bank compared to foreign ECAs; and the Bank's organizational structure."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R42472
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