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EXIM Releases 2018 Competitiveness Report

China continues to dominate in official trade-related finance; Europe and Korea maintain strong support

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 28, 2019

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Linda Formella (202-565-3204)

Washington, D.C. – The Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) today released its Report to the U.S. Congress on Global Export Credit Competition (Competitiveness Report), covering the 2018 calendar year. The report comprehensively analyzes official export credit and trade-related finance that was provided last year on medium and long repayment terms (MLT) by governments around the world.

EXIM’s annual Competitiveness Report meets the bank’s congressional mandate to report on how well EXIM was able to compete with all other major export credit systems. However, due to the lack of a quorum on EXIM’s board of directors during the entire calendar year, EXIM was unable to authorize board-level financings of greater than $10 million and consequently was not a significant provider of MLT support in 2018. (The board quorum since has been restored with the Senate’s confirmation of EXIM’s president and two additional board members in May.)

The CY 2018 Competitiveness Report examines how deeply, widely, and fundamentally officially supported export finance has changed during between the years before the global financial crisis of 2008 and 2018. During this time frame, export-led growth has become a key priority of many governments. Export credits agencies (ECAs) are being viewed by governments as tools to achieve national strategic goals and to close the financing gap between the creditworthiness of an export-finance transaction and the commercial bankability. Today, there are 112 ECAs worldwide, up from 95 in 2017.

“I am pleased to present EXIM’s Competitiveness Report to Congress, which illustrates the breadth and depth of the involvement of governments, especially China, in promoting and financing the exports from their countries. The performance of China’s export credit system has triggered the governments of other countries to respond defensively by changing their policies and programs or risk their exporters losing access to large swaths of global markets,” said EXIM Chairman Kimberly A. Reed.

“President Trump understands how EXIM’s mission supports his agenda of creating jobs and bringing manufacturing back to the United States. As I begin my tenure leading EXIM, I want to assure Congress and the American people that EXIM is firmly committed to leveling the playing field for our nation in the fiercely competitive global trade environment in which foreign governments are more forward-leaning in promoting their countries’ exports and the jobs they create,” Reed added.

Key Findings:

  • Governments today are not only supporting their exports through ECAs. Increasingly, they are focusing on expanding future exports through a whole-of-government approach that involves other types of support.
  • The rest of the world’s governments are doing more to support their exports: There are more providers, more recipients of official support who are demanding more aggressive terms, more types of financing products and programs being made available, and more proactive strategies being implemented.
  • China’s comprehensive MLT export and trade-related activity in 2018, although unconfirmed due to the opacity of China’s programs, could total an estimated $130 billion.
  • China’s standard MLT support has trended upward for 10 years, reaching approximately $39 billion last year. The next highest levels of official MLT support were from Italy ($12.4 billion), Germany ($12 billion), and Korea ($10.6 billion). In contrast, EXIM’s MLT support for U.S. exports was $300 million, due to the lack of a board quorum and the bank’s inability to approve transactions requesting financing of more than $10 million.

ABOUT EXIM BANK:

EXIM is an independent federal agency that promotes and supports American jobs by providing competitive and necessary export credit to overseas purchasers of U.S. goods and services. 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, 90 percent of the total number of the bank’s authorizations has directly supported small businesses.