Aguirre Testifies Before Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 13, 2002
Lauren Verdery (202) 565-3200
The TPCC is the body designated by Congress to coordinate interagency efforts on trade promotion. It is chaired by the Department of Commerce, with Ex-Im Bank serving as vice chair. Other members include the Small Business Administration (SBA), the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the Trade Development Agency (TDA), and the Agency for International Development (AID).
Ex-Im Bank will work with the TPCC members in pursuit of our common goal - to make U.S. trade promotion efforts second to none by being effective, coordinated and user-friendly, Aguirre said in describing to the Senate Committee Ex-Im Bank's role in carrying out the National Export Strategy. Among the Ex-Im Bank initiatives he outlined were:
- Ex-Im Bank will introduce more automated tools to streamline the Bank's processes to improve customer service and widen its reach, especially among small business exporters. In the area of marketing, Ex-Im Bank is a victim of its own success, Aguirre said, and has outgrown the database/software system used in cooperation with other agencies for its direct mail marketing, necessitating upgrades to that system.
- Ex-Im Bank will work to better integrate its and SBA's Working Capital Guarantee Programs. In addition, the two agencies last week signed an agreement to begin coordinating marketing efforts.
- Ex-Im Bank will continue to 1) work to level the playing field for U.S. exporters by matching the government support provided to competitors of U.S. companies and, at the same time, 2) work to discourage such trade distorting government support.
- Ex-Im Bank will work with other agencies to examine the unique financing needs of the services sector and to enhance services exports programs and procedures to address those needs.
Ex-Im Bank is an independent federal government agency that helps finance the sale of U.S. exports, primarily to emerging markets, by providing loans, guarantees and export credit insurance. In fiscal year 2001, Ex-Im Bank authorized financing to support $12.5 billion of U.S. exports worldwide. Of all Ex-Im Bank transactions, 90% were in direct support of small businesses. A total of 383 new small businesses utilized Ex-Im Bank for the first time last year to support their exports.