EXIM Concludes Day One of Virtual 2020 Annual Conference "Keeping America Strong: Empowering U.S. Businesses and Workers"

Keynotes Featured National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 10, 2020
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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, Ma