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EXIM Bank Releases 2017 Competitiveness Report


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Office of Communications (202-565-3200)

Washington, D.C. – Today the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) announced the release of its annual Report to the U.S. Congress on Global Export Credit Competition, covering the 2017 calendar year. The report analyzes official export credit provided by global export credit agencies (ECAs) on medium and long (MLT) repayment terms of greater than two years.

The report highlights the increasing “weaponization” of export trade credit by the world’s ECAs to complement increasingly nationalistic trade policies—particularly those initiated by China. Many of the 109 non-American export credit programs have embraced more proactive, innovative, and flexible programs to attract manufacturing, engineering, and technology jobs for their respective countries. 

These new competitive tools include “pump priming” and flexible content programs. Foreign ECAs have also widened the use of non-OECD-regulated financing packages to compete for larger strategic projects. The report finds that more than 70 percent of global ECA financing now occurs outside the OECD Arrangement, which has been the framework that coordinates the global export credit market since the 1970s.

The ECAs of five countries (China, India, Korea, Italy, and Germany) provided about $70 billion in support of their exporters. China was again the largest single-country source of MLT export credit, providing $36.3 billion—one-third of total global MLT export credit. The Italian ECA provided $9 billion in MLT support last year and was repeatedly recognized as a “top ECA” by industry experts for its revitalized programs. 

The report finds that the proactive actions by the Chinese, in both behavior and lending, have powered the seismic shift in official export credit around the globe, applying competitive pressure to other ECAs to scale up and increase the flexibility of their programs.

“EXIM’s report focuses on how foreign governments are becoming more dependent on exports to maximize growth and are utilizing their ECAs to achieve this goal. U.S. exporters increasingly are up against government-backed foreign competitors in the fight to win export sales and keep manufacturing and supply-chain jobs here at home,” said Ambassador Jeffrey D. Gerrish, EXIM’s acting president and chairman of the board of directors.

Key Highlights:

  • Many ECAs have adopted more flexible foreign-content policies, while others have introduced programs beyond the scope of the OECD Arrangement. They are engaging in new strategies to increase export volume and support the trade objectives of their governments. For example, one rapidly expanding type of support is “pump priming,” which requires no domestic content for financing support in exchange for an understanding that sourcing will move to that country in the future.
  • In 2017, export-credit activity among the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) was approximately $50 billion, driven primarily by activity in China and India. Although China (at $36.3 billion) accounts for most of this amount, India’s ECA activity grew from $6.2 billion to $9.7 billion (an increase of 56 percent).
  • Total MLT activity that is compliant with the OECD Arrangement fell below $60 billion for the first time since 2012. OECD activity as a percentage of total trade-related export credit declined to 27 percent in 2017, down from over 50 percent in 2011.


EXIM is an independent and self-sustaining federal agency that provides competitive and necessary export credit to overseas purchasers of U.S. exports to promote and support American jobs. A robust and fully functioning EXIM can assist the United States in leveling the global playing field for U.S. exporters when they compete against foreign companies that receive the support of their national export credit agencies. EXIM also contributes to U.S. economic growth and the support of more than a million jobs through the support of thousands of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) around the country. Since 2000, EXIM has provided $14.6 billion to the U.S. Treasury after paying for all of its administrative and program expenses.

For more information about EXIM, please visit www.exim.gov.