Founded in 1934, the Export-Import Bank was organized by Franklin D. Roosevelt under the name Export-Import Bank of Washington. The stated goal was "to aid in financing and to facilitate exports and imports and the exchange of commodities between the United States and other Nations or the agencies or nationals thereof." [i] The Bank's first transaction was a $3.8 million loan to Cuba in 1935 for the purchase of U.S. silver ingots.[ii]
The Export-Import Bank became an independent agency in 1945. The Bank’s name was changed to "Export-Import Bank of the United States" in 1968. [iii]
Over the years, the Export-Import Bank helped finance several historic projects including the Pan-American Highway, the Burma Road, and post-WWII reconstruction. This timeline highlights the Bank’s history and several projects it has supported over the years:
[i] Executive Order 6581, http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=14772#axzz1pBsWshWq
[ii] For further information on the First and Second Export-Import Banks see William Becker and William McClenahan, The Market, the State, and the Export-Import Bank of the United States (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003): 10-40.
[iii] Export-Import Bank Extension, P.L. 90-267, 82 Stat. 47, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1964–1968, Volume VIII, International Monetary and Trade Policy, Document 197, pp. 553-554, http://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1964-68v08/pg_553.