Remarks by EXIM President and Chairman Kimberly Reed at Discover Global Markets
Chairman Kimberly Reed
Oct 02, 2019 – Hyatt Regency Hotel, Houston, Texas
Thank you, Deputy Assistant Secretary Guevara, for that kind introduction.
I am happy to be with all of you here in Houston today -- almost exactly five months since I was sworn in as the Chairman and President of the Export-Import Bank of the United States.
Thank you for this opportunity to talk about the Export-Import Bank of the United States’ ability to help finance energy and infrastructure projects in Africa and the Middle East.
As some of you may know, EXIM had a big week last week.
The board of directors unanimously approved a $5 billion direct loan to support the export of U.S. goods and services for the development of an LNG project in Mozambique.
It’s the largest deal in EXIM’s history – and will support nearly 17,000 American jobs in multiple states, including jobs right here in Texas.
Not only is the development of this LNG field expected to be transformational for the economy of Mozambique – the project is anticipated to generate more than $600 million for U.S. taxpayers.
This is the second transaction in Sub-Saharan Africa that the board has considered since we were sworn in in May.
The first was a preliminary commitment to Cameroon for construction equipment – a deal which could support 400 American jobs.
EXIM has a proud history of support for projects in Africa for nearly 80 years.
We have been partnering with countries across the continent since our first transaction with what is now modern day Angola in 1942 – which was followed in 1944 with EXIM support for recovery projects in Ethiopia stemming from World War II.
And, we have a congressional mandate to serve Sub-Saharan Africa.
Since 2009, EXIM has authorized more than $7 billion to support U.S. exports to the region -- like the hospital we financed in Ghana and bridges in Zambia.
The hospital in Ghana is the primary hospital for Accra (Ah-Crah) and is among the most advanced medical facilities in West Africa.
The sale of modular steel bridges to Zambia, made with pride in Pennsylvania, not only helped make the country more accessible, but also supported hundreds of American jobs.
And, EXIM proudly supports smaller transactions – like the $5.9 million deal we authorized in July that will support the sale of U.S.-made agricultural equipment to a sugar company in Tanzania.
These projects positively impacted millions while also supporting thousands of good jobs here at home.
Last month, I met with government leaders from Senegal to discuss how we can increase our bilateral trade.
And, earlier this year, EXIM signed a $4 billion memorandum of understanding with the Angolan government to increase the trade of goods and services between our two countries.
That’s what President Trump’s Prosper Africa initiative is all about – increasing two-way trade and investment between the United States and Africa.
We want African countries to know that we want free, fair, and flourishing markets – and an environment where they can determine their own economic futures in a financially sustainable manner.
EXIM is an important tool in helping to realize these goals for the continent.
And, we are looking for opportunities to help the Middle East, as well.
In 2018, EXIM signed a $3 billion memorandum of understanding with Iraq to help the nation in its reconstruction efforts.
Today, we are in conversations with the Iraqis on how we can strengthen and expand that commitment.
So please stay tuned for news on that front.
And, since 2019, EXIM has authorized more than $14 billion for the Middle East and North Africa.
EXIM can also support projects at home that will foster the expansion of exports – projects like port expansions, railway development, and LNG bunkering.
And, we are actively looking for opportunities to do so.
Projects like these will become increasingly more important, as global competition in terms of trade has never been more intense.
President Trump has been crystal clear about his desire to improve American competitiveness through the improvement of our domestic infrastructure.
It’s an important pillar in achieving the president’s agenda of putting “America First” by promoting job creation and growing the U.S. economy.
As President Trump has said, “It’s time to rebuild our country to bring back our jobs – to restore our dreams” – and, as long as there is a nexus with exporting, EXIM can help.
When I was sworn-into this job in the Oval Office, the President told me to “do great things.”
And, that’s what I intend to do.
I am fully committed to doing great things on behalf of the United States’ great manufacturers, service providers, and workers.
President Trump understands how the mission of EXIM bank supports his agenda of creating jobs and bringing manufacturing back to the USA.
Since the President took office, American manufacturing has added more than a half million jobs.
And, in the last ten years, EXIM has supported more than one million private-sector U.S. jobs.
In order to keep supporting American jobs and our great businesses, EXIM needs to be reauthorized by Congress.
Our operating authority expires on November 21st.
EXIM won’t be able to contribute to President Trump’s agenda of strengthening domestic manufacturing and supporting U.S. job through the sales of American-made goods and services around the world.
The agency also won’t be able to engage in outreach with domestic industries looking to export their products and services.
We know how important it is for this next reauthorization to provide private industry certainty in the marketplace -- and the timeline needed for planning the allocation of capital.
I am already engaged with leaders in both the U.S. House and Senate on reauthorizing EXIM – and in making the agency even better by implementing positive reforms to increase transparency and effectiveness.
So there is much work to do – and I am excited for the many great things that are ahead.
I look forward to coming back again and sharing more good news with you in the future.
President Trump wants to see EXIM produce for our businesses.
I am committed to making the agency produce.
I look forward to doing “great things,” on behalf American workers and the U.S. economy.