Remarks by EXIM President and Chairman Kimberly Reed at the TXF Global Conference
Chairman Kimberly Reed
Jun 12, 2019 – Berlin, Germany
Thank you, Dominik, for that kind introduction. It’s an honor to be here at TXF Global with 900-plus of the world’s leaders on export, agency, and project finance.
I also want to recognize my fellow export credit agency (ECA) peers from around the globe. I engaged with some of you at our annual G12 ECA meeting in China, where I represented the United States during my first week on the job just a month ago.
It’s also an honor to be here in Berlin—during the year that marks the 30th anniversary of the falling of the Berlin Wall—to tell all of you that the Export-Import Bank of the United States is officially back open for business.
Our history working with Europe well pre-dates that historic day in November of 1989.
President Trump was just here in Europe to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day with other world leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
In 1945, EXIM authorized more than $2 billion for post-World War II reconstruction in Europe, Asia, and Africa.
The restoration of EXIM’s board quorum means we can once again approve transactions valued at more than $25 million.
And, we are looking forward to working with all of you on transactions that enable the export of “Made in the USA” products around the world.
The bank is fully functioning again because President Trump delivered this victory for the American people.
About two weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to have a ceremonial swearing-in in the Oval Office—and while I was there, 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.
In the last ten years, the Bank has supported more than one million private-sector American jobs.
And, we as you might imagine, EXIM has a backlog of applications that need board consideration: Nearly $40 billion in transactions that would support more than a quarter-million good jobs.
We also expect an influx of applications, now that the board is back. The plan is to work through the applications at a thoughtful and reasonable pace. We expect the board will vote on some of them before the end of the summer.
Though we want to make our way through the backlog, protecting the interests of U.S. taxpayers is still paramount to us. The fact that the bank has a default rate of one-half-of-one-percent shows the prudence of EXIM’s staff.
And, we want to keep doing good deals on behalf of the American people.
Moving through the applications will be a huge victory in our collective efforts to support American exporters.
The President also knows that restoring EXIM was also important in protecting U.S. strategic interests around the world. It’s a tool in the economic and strategic toolbox at a time when global competition has never been more intense.
There are now more than 100 export credit agencies in operation around the world—a significant increase since EXIM’s last congressional reauthorization in 2015.
As the people in this room are well aware, ECAs are now being used by many countries as instruments to achieve strategic policy objectives.
They are not just about supporting exports anymore. Competitor ECAs have been working hard to lure projects home for their companies—and have been picking off parts of the U.S. supply chain, and their associated jobs, through offering export financing.
When this production shifts abroad, American jobs are lost—not only at the larger manufacturers—but also in the hundreds of small businesses that supply parts and components to the bigger guys.
China is the most aggressive on this front, using export financing to reach its goals of achieving market dominance in high-tech industries currently dominated by the United States—industries such as robotics, telecommunications, aircraft, and energy.
The Chinese have supported more exports in the last two years than EXIM has in its entire existence.
The restoration of EXIM’s board quorum means that the bank will be available to U.S. industry to work as a counterweight to the actions China.
As you know, Congressional reauthorization is on the horizon. The House Financial Services Committee held a hearing about the bank last week.
I look forward to engaging with both the House and Senate on reauthorizing the bank—and in making the bank even better by implementing positive reforms that increase transparency and effectiveness.
The restoration of the board quorum puts the agency in a much stronger position as we head into reauthorization.
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.
So there is much work to do – and many great things are ahead.
And I look forward to coming back and sharing more good news with you in the future.
President Trump wants to see EXIM thrive.
I am committed to making the bank thrive.
I look forward to working with you in order to do great American workers and the U.S. economy.