Keynotes Featured National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 10, 2020
Office of Communications (202) 565-3203
WASHINGTON —The Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) concluded day one of its virtual 2020 Annual Conference with over 1,700 participants from across the United States. The conference included keynote speakers, panel discussions, and networking opportunities designed to help U.S. companies expand their exporting opportunities.
Welcome Remarks from EXIM President and Chairman Kimberly A. Reed
EXIM President and Chairman Kimberly A. Reed kicked-off day one of EXIM’s 2020 Virtual Annual Conference by outlining the many things EXIM has accomplished since a Board quorum was restored in May 2019. She also provided conference participants with an overview of the tools EXIM has to support the export of “Made in the USA” goods and services.
“EXIM is now fully opened for business with the longest reauthorization in our agency’s 86-year history and we have the leadership and foresight of President Trump to thank for this. Since May 2019, when the quorum was restored on the EXIM Board, EXIM has approved over 2,000 small business authorizations in support of American exporters. In that time, EXIM has authorized over $8.8 billion in financing to support tens of thousands of U.S. jobs across our country,” said Chairman Reed. “All of us at EXIM want to help you reach new customers beyond our shores and reach new heights of success for your business. I hope EXIM’s conference will allow many of the participants to connect with potential customers beyond our country’s borders, so your business can grow and prosper as never before.”
Keynote Remarks by National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien
Following Chairman Reed’s opening remarks, National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien delivered keynote remarks, focused on the threat posed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) of China, and how United States assistance, including financing from EXIM, offers countries a “different way.”
“By providing export credit, the bank helps American companies compete overseas, creating American jobs, and driving American growth, while simultaneously helping nations around the world develop their economies and lift their people out of poverty,” Ambassador O’Brien said.
Panel Discussion with U.S. House of Representatives China Task Force Members
EXIM Counselor to the Chairman and Senior Vice President for the Program on China and Transformational Exports David Trulio updated conference attendees on EXIM’s new Program on China and Transformational Exports, after which he moderated a panel with U.S. House of Representatives China Task Force Chairman Michael McCaul (TX-10) and Co-Chairs Andy Barr (KY-6) and Anthony Gonzalez (OH-16).
“China challenges American power, influence, and interests, and is attempting to erode American security and prosperity,” said Trulio. “Our number one goal as an EXIM team when it comes to the Program on China and Transformational Exports is to execute deals where U.S. businesses successfully compete against Chinese state-backed entities. It is crucial that, working closely with exporters and their partners, we achieve tangible results in the form of completed deals that help specific businesses in the United States generate exports and support U.S. jobs.”
“The China Task Force is doing critical work to address the growing threat of the Chinese Communist Party and it was great to discuss these efforts at the EXIM annual conference,” said Chairman McCaul. “From incentivizing the domestic production of semiconductors, safeguarding global 5G networks, and securing our supply chain- we must implement policies that ensure the democratic ideals of the U.S. and our allies beat out the CCP’s goal of global domination. I appreciate EXIM’s dedication to this cause, particularly their work to take on the CCP’s predatory economic practices and advance US business interests around the world.”
The Program on China and Transformational Exports, established in EXIM’s historic seven-year reauthorization, is intended to help level the playing field for U.S. exporters and workers by directly neutralizing export subsidies for competing goods and services offered by the People’s Republic of China. From May to August, EXIM conducted its “Strengthening American Competitiveness” initiative, a series of teleconferences with American businesses and stakeholders. A full list of teleconferences and subsequent recordings can be found here.
Overview of EXIM’s COVID-19 Relief Measures by Chief Banking Officer Stephen Renna
As part of the day’s events, EXIM’s Chief Banking Officer Stephen Renna highlighted EXIM’s COVID-19 relief measures for U.S. exporters and financial institutions impacted by the pandemic. The relief measures – which include waivers, deadline extensions, streamlined processing, and flexibility – were originally announced on March 12, 2020, extended in April, and extended again through October 31, 2020.
“What we have done throughout all of our programs, both on the short-term side and on the medium and long-term side, is provide flexibility and accommodation to EXIM’s customer base. Our goal is to put EXIM’s customers in the position they need to be in order to weather this economic crisis,” Renna said. “We’ve managed our portfolio to provide the flexibility, forbearance, and streamlining that’s necessary to serve our existing clients. We’ve taken care of the domestic exporter community, and we’re anticipating what foreign buyers are going to be needing. With these measures, we believe that we are, and will be, well-suited to help U.S. exporters fulfill their export contracts around the world.”
5G, Clean Energy, and Small Business Export Finance
Following today’s morning plenary session, a series of breakout sessions occurred, including a session titled “5G Wireless Technology and U.S. Exports,” moderated by EXIM’s Senior Vice President for External Engagement Luke Lindberg. The breakout session featured Bob Everson, Senior Director, 5G Architecture, Cisco; Bob Kerr, 5G Engineering Technologist, Dell Technologies; and Phil Mottram, VP of Communications and Media Solutions, Hewlett Packard Enterprise. The panelists discussed the important role EXIM could play in the manufacturing and services related to 5G wireless communications and associated scalable infrastructures, as well as how the U.S. telecommunications industry is essential to America’s economic and national security.
The second morning breakout session, moderated by Rich Powell, Executive Director, ClearPath Foundation, focused on “Advancing U.S. Clean Energy Technologies Across the Globe.” Panelists including Steven Wilburn, CEO, VerdeWatts, LLC; Ravi Pradhan, VP, Portfolio Management, Siemens Digital Grid; and Aram Zamgochian, Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships, Energy Storage Systems, Inc., discussed the increasing global demand for energy and the opportunity for U.S. companies to deploy innovative and energy efficient technologies around the world.
The third session, focused on trade finance tools for small businesses, featured an introduction from EXIM Board Member Spencer T. Bachus, III, followed by a presentation from Sharyn Koenig, Managing Director, EXIM, and Kenneth Click, Business Development Specialist (marketing), EXIM. The session provided an explanation of EXIM products available to companies seeking to expand and accelerate growth in international markets, access pre-export working capital, and mitigate the risks of buyer nonpayment.
Keynote Remarks by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross
As part of his keynote remarks, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross highlighted the importance of EXIM’s recent seven-year reauthorization, EXIM’s role in promoting U.S. economic and national security, and the agency’s efforts assisting in the economic recovery efforts in the wake of COVID-19.
“The U.S. Department of Commerce fully supports EXIM in its efforts to boost exports and shift production back to the United States. By pursuing a lending strategy that is far more strategic and focused on U.S. economic and national security interests, EXIM is becoming a true force in the American economy as we work together to create a V-shaped recovery that is progressing far faster than many had anticipated,” said Secretary Ross.
Securing our Wireless Future: A Global Outlook on 5G
David Rubenstein, Co-Founder and Co-Executive Chairman of The Carlyle Group hosted an armchair discussion titled “Securing our Wireless Future: A Global Outlook on 5G,” with Pat Gelsinger, Chief Executive Officer, VMware.
“Pat Gelsinger is an accomplished, thoughtful and inspiring leader. VMware is playing a critical role in the creation and adoption of 5G, which should please consumers and investors alike. My conversation with Pat was interesting and I encourage everyone to watch the video,” said Rubenstein.
“5G is a dramatic technological step and 5.5 and 6G will be built on many of the breakthroughs. It radically increases the bandwidth that is given to devices, the connectivity, the security model, so it will enable many of the use-cases we’ve talked about like autonomous vehicles, smart factories, smart cities, will be built on 5G. It is also more cost-effective to deliver bandwidth over a 5G architecture,” said Gelsinger, during his interview with Rubenstein. “We believe very much that as they [EXIM] engage with emerging countries and markets, that they can be a powerful force to create a view of 5G that’s built on open systems and isn’t dependent on technology from these vertical systems. Huge role for EXIM to play and we’re looking forward to partnering to help move forward more rapidly.”
Panel Discussion: Tools in the Trade Toolbox
Keith Krach, Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment, U.S. Department of State facilitated a plenary discussion with leading U.S. government officials on the Deal Team concept and ways agencies are collaborating to accelerate growth in international markets.
“When Congress reauthorized EXIM for seven years in December with $135 billion in financing capacity, we had no idea EXIM would play such a vital role in not only bolstering the U.S. economy during the biggest global crisis in our lifetime but also advancing global economic security in the face of the tyranny and aggression of the Chinese Communist Party,” said State Department Under Secretary Krach. “EXIM supplies clean financing which is the democratic answer to creating a level playing field and countering PRC’s authoritarian efforts to rig the game. The world wants America to lead a coalition of freedom to protect the American dream because it remains a beacon of light and hope around the world.”
“These are challenging times not only for our country, but for our overseas partners as well. That’s why this year’s EXIM conference was so important: It set the standard for the kinds of conversations we need to be having about America’s role in the world and the ways the Trump Administration is leading the way on crucial issues of trade, investment and economic growth,” said Todd Abrajano, CEO, Head of Agency, U.S. Trade and Development Agency.
“Frontier and emerging markets are home to many of the fastest-growing economies globally,” said U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) Chief Executive Officer Adam Boehler. “DFC is proud to partner with EXIM to help the American private sector access these promising yet challenging markets. Our financial tools help businesses expand, reach growing consumer classes, and increase revenues. Together, we also promote the development of transparent, competitive, and rules-based markets that facilitate further trade and investment.”
“MCC’s brand is known as a model that demands transparency and accountability from our partners. MCC is different in that we have a singular mission—reduce poverty through economic growth—and there is no better way to do that than to engage with the private sector and ensure that the markets and the countries we’re working in are able to accommodate investment, attract investment, and sustain it through a regulatory and legal framework that supports it,” said Sean Cairncross, CEO, Millennium Challenge Corporation.
"Cultivating trade partnerships is not just smart development policy; it's smart foreign policy. History has taught us that stable, free-market democracies make good trading partners and good allies. That's good for our economy and it's good for our national security. It also exemplifies who we are as Americans," said Bonnie Glick, Deputy Administrator, U.S. Agency for International Development.
International Commerce Terms, Africa Case Study, and COVID-19 Response Updates
As part of the afternoon concurrent breakout sessions, Richard Foy, Regional Director, EXIM hosted a session on “Incoterms: A Common Language for International Sales.” International Commerce Terms, or Incoterms, define obligations of buyers and sellers in international transactions from the standpoint of risks, costs, and documents. As part of this session, exporters developed a better understanding on how Incoterms are applied in international trade by demonstrating: the three criteria used to classify them – mode of transport, payment of transport, and transfer of risk; how they are divided into four groups with varying seller-to-buyer conditions; changes occurring in 2020; areas of caution and how to mitigate risks not addressed in the Incoterms.
A second breakout session titled “Case Study Africa: How the USG Helped an Illinois Small Business Succeed,” was hosted by Judith D. Pryor, Member of the EXIM Board of Directors. The panel discussion provided insight into the key elements of a U.S. export financing success story and how a USG Whole-of-Government approach facilitated the financing for a rural electrification project in Senegal in support of a small company from Illinois. With power generation, distribution, and transmission in high demand, the need to finance power projects in Africa remains of paramount importance.
The third afternoon session titled “EXIM Takes Action During COVID-19,” highlighted the number of relief measures EXIM has taken to ensure U.S. exporters and financial institutions have the tools necessary to succeed. The panel included EXIM staff members Bonnie Cybulko, Vice President (VP) of Industrial Finance, David Fiore, VP of Transportation, Steven Freshour, VP of Business Credit, and Mario Ramirez, Director of Working Capital Guarantees Lender Relations. EXIM staff provided an in-depth explanation of the agency’s COVID-19 response related to the Bridge/Modified Repayment Term Program; Pre-Export Payment Program; Supply Chain Financing Program; and Working Capital Guarantee Program.
EXIM is an independent federal agency that promotes and supports American jobs by providing competitive and necessary export credit to support sales of U.S. goods and services to international buyers. A robust EXIM can level the global playing field for U.S. exporters when they compete against foreign companies that receive support from their governments. EXIM also contributes to U.S. economic growth by helping to create and sustain hundreds of thousands of jobs in exporting businesses and their supply chains across the United States. In recent years, approximately 90 percent of the total number of the agency’s authorizations has directly supported small businesses. Since 1992, EXIM has generated more than $9 billion for the U.S. Treasury for repayment of U.S. debt.
For more information about EXIM, please visit www.exim.gov.